After releasing four successful episodes in 2021, the Barbie You Can Be Anything Series returned with the goal of empowering young girls through the message that You Can Be Anything! Continuing into summer 2022, this season gave audiences seven new episodes full of role models, girl-led activities, and engaging performances.
With over 3 million views and thousands of inspirational comments across the first four episodes in 2021, Mattel aimed to build upon this positive feedback by rewarding young viewers and their families with seven brand new episodes. Featuring an array of fan-favorite guests and new trailblazing women thought-leaders, each episode focused on several exciting themes, including aerospace, animals, fashion, and art.
Each piece of content led back to build awareness of The Dream Gap, which has shown that beginning at the age of five, many girls develop self-limiting beliefs and begin to think they're not as smart and capable as boys. Barbie launched the Dream Gap Project in 2018 to give girls the resources and support they need to continue believing in themselves, and continues to devote considerable energy into combatting this notion to show young girls that they can truly be anything they want to be.
The continuation of the You Can Be Anything Series aimed to:
● Reach children aged 6-10, while engaging parents
● Inspire young girls
● Generate additional media and social buzz around the Barbie brand purpose
● Capitalize on the success of the initial four episodes
In collaboration with Mattel, we wrote and developed an additional six episodes that covered key themes in young girls’ development while ensuring that the subject matter was not only relatable to children, but accessible to adults as well. We also chose to shorten the episodes from 20-25 minutes in 2021 to 8-10 minutes in 2022, helping to keep our target demographic engaged with more digestible content pieces.
The cross-generational content featured these role models and fan-favorite influencers allowing us to reach our target demographic; girls aged 6-10 and their parents; in a meaningful way.
We navigated managing on-set live production around COVID restrictions, booking talent, developing art and creative design, animating, blocking, scriptwriting, editing, and seamlessly executing post-production and cutdowns.
The seven episodes were:
Let’s Get Creative
Dress for Success
Mission DreamStar - Let’s Go To Space
The Future of Pink is Green With Jane Goodall
International Day of the Girl Edition
Each episode blended panel discussions, Q&A sessions with role models, Barbie-animated content, engaging activities, and music. Episodes were promoted on Barbie’s social platforms and live on the popular Barbie YouTube page, as well as YouTube for Kids, available to watch anytime.
Episodes 5 and 6 also integrated TIME For Kids – a platform that uses kid reporters to provide a unique perspective for kids, by kids – to appeal to our demographic even further. TIME For Kids reporters were a big hit in the first four episodes of the series.
What made our series stand out was the content itself and the way it spoke to kids. For example, in our space episode, two Barbie dolls actually went up on the International Space Station, and we produced content with two astronauts who were living and working on the ISS. Barbie was included next to experiments onboard and we even received an educational tour of the ISS. This type of content gives kids, and especially our target demographic, something they rarely have access to while inspiring them to dream big.
The series also demonstrates a real-world impact on its target demographic. Mattel has done extensive research for the Dream Gap Project and showed that the self-doubt that many young girls have really does impact the way girls dream about their future. For them to be able to see and hear stories from inspirational female role models of all ages has had an immeasurable impact on our target audience. By integrating original Barbie-animated content with real recognizable icons that span generations, all hosted by Barbie herself, we have truly created a first-of-its-kind series that continues to inspire.
Also important to the cause if that fact that we don't just focus on gender roles, but race and diversity as well. We ensure that each episode includes representation from all groups to show that there really are no barriers when it comes to being anything you can dream of. Every segment of every episode points back to our overarching inspiring message to young girls.
While the initial four episodes of the Barbie You Can Be Anything series set a benchmark, receiving almost 3 million views globally, subsequent episodes exceeded expectations, with an additional 10+ million views and inspiring young girls everywhere. Reaction on social media has been overwhelmingly positive as we continue to raise awareness for the Dream Gap and empower young girls.
Metrics for the series to-date include:
270k hours of watch time
Appearances with astronauts on the International Space Station and alongside Dr. Jane Goodall have solidified the cultural impact that Barbie has on young girls throughout the world. These female role models have recognized how significant their respective Barbie partnerships have had on their young audience.
The Goodall Barbie doll was trending on Twitter upon its release, and the story was picked up by major news outlets all over the world, including a content piece on NBC Nightly News. Even Chelsea Clinton posted about her chat with Dr. Goodall to discuss the impact of this partnership, helping broaden the YCBA Series reach even further. And to top things off, TIME Magazine named the Jane Goodall doll one of the top 200 inventions of 2022!
We continue to see the real-world impact the YCBA Series is having on popular culture, which has led the series to become a tentpole for the Barbie brand. We are currently developing more episodes for 2023 with some of the most legendary women leaders and trailblazers in the world today.