Why the New Barbie Ad is Brilliant

Today in my Facebook feed I came across the latest ad for Barbie. I was immediately impressed with it. Mattel hasn’t always created the best ads for Barbie. Take a look at this one for example. But this one is different. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself. Watch it below.

Why is this brilliant?

Simply, it’s because the ad is not about the product. In fact, the ad only features actual Barbie’s near the very end. The ad isn’t even about imagination, although that is definitely a part of it.  It’s about so much more.

My daughters have played exactly like this with their Barbies’. They’ve played with them as teachers, rock stars, etc.

The ad implies that through Barbie play, girls can unlock their potential. They can realize that their future isn’t written and they can be anything they want to be.  Barbie has tried to make that connection in the past, but there was a disconnect. While the astronaut and other career dolls help, Barbie’s approach was reversed.  They focused on Barbie being anything she want’s to be, when the message should be that you can be anything you want to be.

That’s why this ad is brilliant.

But why does that matter? Why should Barbie change how they market their toys. I mean, who doesn’t remember seeing commercials of the 80s and desperately needing the latest toy? Their marketing worked.

The answer is simple; people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

An example of marketing Barbie with the “what we do” approach would be “We sell dolls that are fun to play with.” An example of marketing Barbie with the “why we do it” approach would be “We help girls dream of their future and see their potential, oh and we sell dolls too.

Next time you want to market something to someone, think of the “why you do it” first.