This ad is for Mattel’s limited edition Moschino Barbie, and opens with a young boy with a mohawk stating, “Moschino Barbie is so fierce!” Moschino is a high-end designer fashion label originating from Italy. This ad resulted in the Moschino Barbies being sold out within a few hours on November 9th 2015. The ad received a lot of positive feedback from people on social media and on media outlets as it was praised for being ground-breaking with a diverse cast, and featuring the first boy to promote Barbie. Although Mattel produced the video, it is not an official advertisement. Jeremy Scott, Moschino designer, was the creative director of the commercial and is passionate about having toys advertised to kids of all genders. This issue hits close to home for Scott as he can relate to his own experiences growing up playing with Barbies, having an interest in fashion, and being bullied and teased for not fitting into socially accepted gender norms of other boys.
What role do commercials and gender-targeted toys play in developing one’s identity and gender norms? Discuss societal and personal pressures to conform. What happens when you play outside these societal expectations?
Do you think this commercial is a shift towards progress in re-defining gender roles? Why?
What are the different intentions that creative director Jeremy Scott had in producing this content? Is the intent of the ad supposed to draw attention to an important issue, inform the general public, or generate profits from the sale of Barbies? How might these goals conflict?
How does this video open up a dialogue about gender-neutral advertising when it comes to toys? Consider the positive feedback from the masses that was received from this ad, and the social pressure that may have been put on the toy company as a result.
Mattel has received criticism in the past for not only making their toys appear as if they are solely for girls, but also for promoting unrealistic beauty standards for girls. How does this video contribute to or complicate the brand’s image?