O&M Team Empowering Barbie

Barbie is getting an image makeover courtesy of a group effort by several Ogilvy & Mather offices.
A new campaign themed “Be anything” broke last week in New York ahead of the toy industry’s annual Toy Fair. Billboards and posters feature girls in sporty settings, including one as a pint-sized hockey player. The copy reads “Be your own hero.”
TV spots, in 30- and 60-second executions, break today, and continue the new “empowerment” brand image for Mattel’s popular doll.
The campaign was facilitated by O&M’s strategy of “long hallways,” which allows creatives in North America to work on accounts outside their home offices.
Copywriter Nicole Michels and art director Heather Niedergerke of O&M unit Cole & Weber in Seattle developed the concept in conjunction with Mattel’s lead agency, O&M in Los Angeles, and O&M New York.
Michels and Niedergerke, who usually work on accounts such as Boeing and Pyramid Ale, successfully pitched the idea several months ago against other O&M teams.
“The whole idea is that girls today love being girls; they get to do girl stuff and boy stuff,” said Michels.