Mattel launches new 'Never Before Barbie' doll range to inspire girls via Clemenger Melbourne

Never Before Barbie group shot.jpgMattel Australia and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne have launched Never Before Barbie, a one-of-a-kind range of dolls created to highlight the lack of gender diversity in senior leadership positions across the country.

Based on the adage that you can't be what you can't see, the Never Before Barbie range features six dolls themed in roles that have never before been held by women.

The roles include: chairman of the AFL, commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, governor of the Australian Reserve Bank, head of ASIO, president of the Australian Olympic Committee and first woman on the Moon.
To bring the campaign to life and continue inspiring girls that they can be anything, Never Before Barbie has partnered with one of Australia's very own female firsts, Ita Buttrose, who's sharing her inspirational story as the first female to edit a major metropolitan newspaper, re-enforcing the Barbie brand ethos of You Can Be Anything.

The campaign rolls-out across social, print and PR, with Never Before Barbie launching last Sunday as the front cover and feature story in News Corp's Stellar Magazine, in addition to an influencer engagement campaign and partnership with Australia's largest community for women, Business Chicks.

Says Chedney Rodgers, marketing director at Mattel: "By shining a light on these roles, and the large number of roles nationwide that have never been filled by women, we hope to act as a role model for young girls and encourage them to strive for leadership positions in whatever career path they choose.

"From the very beginning, when Ruth Handler first created Barbie in 1959, her entire philosophy was that through the doll, young girls could be anything they wanted to be. The Never Before Barbie campaign stays true to Ruth's vision and ensures Barbie represents the choices that women have in life and doing our small part to helping the next generation of women break through glass ceilings across the country."

Says Paige Prettyman, group business director, Clemenger BBDO Melbourne: "We are proud to create a campaign that hopefully inspires women and girls that they can not only be part of perceived male dominated industries, but they can make it to the top job.

"This campaign is a statement of how far society has to go, but equally, something tangible for this generation and the next to see and aspire to reach."


Competitor said:

Fuck they are amazing.

Barnabie said:

Leader of the LNP.

Lionheart said:

Very oddly specific job titles.

@lionheart said:

Yep. That's the idea.

And a fantastic one at that.

Hayley said:

I love these! I hope they will be a permanent range? It would be great to make them visible within schools and to have a range of ethnic diversity within the job titles. As you say, you can't be what you can't see.

ECD Barbie said:


Mattel said:

Not an easy client. Move to Clems, do work like this.

Ken said:

This is what happens when Paige Prettyman is put on an account. Great ideas get up. First big idea for Mattel from Clems since they first met in 2012.

Correction said:

Mattel moved to Clems in Oct 2016.
And yes, Paige is a legend.

The Simpsons did it said:

Sorry, but to quote South Park, 'The Simpsons did it'

Ibaka said:

Where's lezzo Barbie?


In a world first Women will look to start to producing sperm in the latest attempt to create true gender neutrality. #whatareblokesgoodfor #absolut-Mattel-ly-nothing

This.... said:

..... is really good. Hats off to all involved.

Adam Ferrier said:

This is amazing work. Congratulations to all involved.

Kristy said:

Would love to know where I can buy one

envious said:

I love this
Massive kudos to the team

Rob said:


White guy said:

So awesome, and so much more poignant and relevant than Maccas turning its M upside down to make a statement about gender equality. Well played to all involved. Kudos to the client too. This makes me want to do better work.

Well done said:

A great idea and well executed.

I must say I'm surprised this hasn't been done yet, it feels so obvious.

@The Simpsons did it said:

Do you mean Lee Simpson? He'll probably claim he did it on his CV

m said:

Where can I buy these?
or more to the point, where can anyone buy these (and would anyone buy these)?
I would hate to think that this is just another IWD ad agency stunt that does nothing to change behaviour

B said:

The self-congratulatory wankfest that is Clemenger Melbourne continues apace. What a fucking joke.

Duh said:

Buy one in a shop that stocks Barbie

Hi B said:

I think you're mistaken. Clemenger Melbourne is the least self congratulatory agency in Australia. Nobody is tougher on Clemenger Melbourne than Clemenger Melbourne.

Barbie twins said:

Not to discredit this idea but Mattel just launched a range of dolls modelled on inspiring women as part of international women’s day.

Nothing to see here. said:

This just feels like the female version of Graham.

Rare birds said:

Will you be doing a CCO of Clemenger Barbie or is that too unrealistic?

Nothin better to do on a Sunday night said:

Can’t deny the importance of the issue this idea represents.

But in terms of award judging, it feels a little expected and familiar.

Like, hasn’t barbie released empowered barbies internationally before?

A smart case study will help magnify it, and help it in the glass lion category, of course.

Go for it said:

Now for ‘Shopping Ken’

Sure fine said:

Why are they all white? Oh that's right only white people can have dreams.

Scam said:

You can't buy these. They're just a client mock up for PR. To quote the press release:
"The Never Before Barbie dolls are a limited edition range and are not for sale."

How are young girls meant to find it inspiring if they don't read Campaign Brief?

P.S. @Sure fine, the Olympics one is black.

Barb said:

Love this.

Trixie said:

What a bunch of boring dolls. No little girl (or gay boy) will want these.

Eliza said:

Chair MAN of the AFL?

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