Take a quick scroll down the Barbie Twitter page and you'll find yourself drowning under a tide of inspirational tweets about girl power, equality and diversity. But is it a clever marketing ploy to tap into the millennial mind-frame, or a genuine desire to break away from Barbie's chequered past in failing to champion real women to impressionable girls around the world?
When a brand changes its image (literally in this case, with the introduction of Barbies with different body shapes and skin colours) so drastically and pushes a new message of empowerment, you do wonder how sincere this change is and the reasons behind it. Has the brand changed to fall into line with promoting what is expected - equality, diversity, empowerment - because it feels the brand really believes these values and wants to ensure their consumers and parents of the future see the company as progressive; or, has the brand changed to cynically mirror the popular trends to ensure it sells, sells, sells?
Let alone when the perfect mean girl at school suddenly becomes nice (do you *really* like my skirt or are you trying to prove to the teachers that you've turned over a new leaf?!), when applied to a brand, this sort of turnaround is even more difficult to ascertain, as any company ultimately is in the business of making money and they will do whatever they can to get there.
So, what are your thoughts - does Millennial Barbie really care, or is she being fake?
"...And while it may seem, cynically perhaps, that this content is only there to sell toys, Mattel has learned to recognize its responsibility to families as well. [They] are now working within an ecosystem where [they] are connecting directly with kids, and with parents who are making the decisions. Millennial parents are more involved with their children than any previous generation – they are really aware of the content experiences their kids are having."