Words of Wisdom Mattel

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Barbie has evolved; she is more diverse in her careers, abilities, body types, skin colours and fashion styles than ever before. But are people actually aware of this?

Ogilvy conducted extensive research to better understand this negative brand perception, discovering it was rooted in unrealistic body expectations, lack of diversity & gender stereotyping. Ogilvy knew in order to shift this perception, it had to be addressed head on, but done in an unexpected way.
Combining the perception insights with the universal truth of parents wanting the best for their children & passing down their learned values to form our creative strategy. Ogilvy created the campaign, “Words of Wisdom”, asking parents if they could meet their younger self, what would they say? allowing parents to be authentic & use Barbie’s platform for them to share their personal & relatable advice.
Ogilvy were talking about real advice, and so knew there was a need to cast real people. Ogilvy selected an authentic and diverse cast of people who were role models to children to bring the campaign to life.

The result were that users who saw this ad thought Barbie was considerably more diverse. By 5x times! According to Facebook, it often takes brands years to shift a perception by 1%, with one campaign, we shifted it by 5%, within two weeks. This is a Facebook EMEA record - they now use this case study as best practice around the world.​


  • Advertising


  • London
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