3 Girls Smash Gender Roles to Smithereens in Toy Company’s Glorious Debut Ad

GoldieBlox flips Beastie Boys' 'Girls'

Headshot of David Griner

One of the most anti-feminist songs of the 1980s, "Girls" by the Beastie Boys, is recast as an empowering theme for young women in a new toy ad looking to break gender stereotypes.

The spot is a holiday promotion for GoldieBlox, a construction-themed board game that nearly doubled its Kickstarter goal in 2012. Game developer Debbie Sterling designed GoldieBlox to combine young girls' love of reading and characters with the engineering themes of toys typically more popular with boys, like Legos and erector sets. To that end, the ad features a massive Rube Goldberg scenario, designed by OK Go contraption collaborator Brett Doar. As the machine's workings unravel, the girls sing modified Beastie Boys lyrics: "It's time to change/We deserve to see a range/'Cause all our toys look just the same/And we would like to use our brains."

And this is just the start of what could be a crazy few months for GoldieBlox, as the company is one of four finalists angling for a free Super Bowl ad paid for by Intuit as part of a small-business contest.

Hat tip to @rjgnyc on Twitter.


Client: GoldieBlox

Title: "Princess Machine"

GoldieBlox CEO: Debbie Sterling

GoldieBlox Creative Director: Beau Lewis

GoldieBlox Machine Creative Director: Brett Doar

Production Company: The Academy

Director: Sean Pecknold

Co-Director: Zia Mohajerjasbi

Executive Producer: Harry Calbom

Production Designer: Jason Puccinelli

Editor: James Lipetzky (Foundation Content)

Assistant Editor: Jesse Richard (Foundation Content)

Post Producer: Stacy Paris (Foundation Content)

Line Producer: Mark Campbell

Production Supervisor: Sarah Archuleta

Steadicam: Ari Robbins

First Assistant Cameraman: Canh Nguyen

Gaffer: Osha Mattei

Key Grip: Michael Moeller

Swing: Bobby Bradshaw

Prop Master: Eric Lathrop

Art Intern: Chris Hannemann

Stylist: Alina Harden

Location Manager: John Schaunessy

Music: Pico Sound

Animation: Ed Skudder, Lynn Wang, Mike Holm

@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."