Enter the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. See categories below. The early entry deadline is on December 9th, 2021.

From the 2021 Impact Awards

Barbie You Can Be Anything Series

Winner in Gender Equality, Multi-Platform

About this entry

Barbie has always been more than a doll. 

In 1959, Barbie launched as the original girl empowerment brand. Leading by example, Barbie is committed to her purpose, inspiring future generations to reach their limitless potential. 

Research shows that starting at age five, many girls stop believing they can be anything. This is called the dream gap, and to help close it, Barbie launched the Dream Gap Project in 2018.

This ongoing global initiative gives girls the resources and support they need to continue believing in themselves.

In 2021, the brand took this to a new and unprecedented level with You Can Be Anything – a first-of-its-kind YouTube and Facebook series of inspiring, interactive and educational live streams and virtual meet & greets to empower attendees from all over the world. 

Working with prominent female leaders, trailblazers, and influencers, we helped encourage today’s young girls to become the leaders of tomorrow. The cross-generational content featured these role models and fan-favorite influencers allowing us to reach our target demographic in a meaningful way. 

The series aired live throughout March; globally recognized as International Women’s Month; for maximum relevance and impact.

We aimed to achieve three key objectives:

Reach children aged 8-12, while also engaging their parents Raise awareness about the Dream Gap and inspire young girls and families Generate media buzz around Barbie and the Dream Gap

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Originally slated to be an in-person festival event in 2020, Mattel had to pivot to a digital-only series due to the global pandemic. 

In collaboration with Mattel, we wrote and developed four 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.

The four episodes were:

Your Voice (Activism): How young girls and women use their voice as a positive force  Music & Dance: An eclectic mix of musicians, artists, and performers  STEAM: Trailblazing female scientists and engineers, hands-on science experiments, and fashion tips  Sports & Wellness: Physical and mental wellness with interactive content from world-class athletes and trainers

Each episode blended panel discussions, Q&A sessions, Barbie-animated content, engaging activities, and music. 

We 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.

Finally, we curated a series of three 30-minute virtual meet & greet sessions with three of the series’ guests, allowing each child to have 60 seconds with their favorite role model.

Our series aired on Saturdays at 1pm ET/10am PT – the perfect time when children are out of school and more parents are at home and engaged with their kids.

We managed to find a way to navigate production around COVID restrictions while booking talent, developing art and creative design, animating, blocking, scriptwriting, editing, and seamlessly executing post-production and cutdowns.

 

Results

The Barbie You Can Be Anything Series set a benchmark for the Dream Gap Project.

In total, our episodes received almost 3 million views.  

Across social media, we received 2,725 Facebook comments and almost 60k reactions on our content. Including talent channels, we had an impressive overall reach of 7.3 million.

During the month of March 2021, Barbie’s Facebook page saw a significant increase in traffic due to the content, highlighted by:  

Page actions increased 53% Views increased 35% Likes increased 20% Post reach increased 50% Story reach increased 128% Post engagement increased 145% 3-second video views increased 15% Page followers increased 15%

The reaction on social media was overwhelmingly positive as we raised awareness for the Dream Gap and the progress Barbie is making in empowering young girls. We encouraged an open dialogue between Barbie and fans, as messages of inspiration flooded in from around the world via Facebook, including:

“Thank you for making this show more about the world we live in and not just fluff. My 8-year-old is loving the show so far!” “Thank you for including our daughters in conversations that are bigger than making cookies and fashion. My 9-year-old will be watching every Saturday!” “Wish they had this when I was a little girl.”

The program was so successful we will be expanding the series in the fall of 2021 – a testament to the power and impact we’ve had in inspiring girls to be the best version of themselves.

 

Media

Video for Barbie You Can Be Anything Series

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Mirrored Media, Mattel

Link