Barbie Haters Praise New Mattel Ad

The ad is an effort by Mattel to update Barbie's image and reputation.

October 23, 2015, 2:06 PM

— -- A two-minute advertisement for Barbie is getting the stamp of approval from Barbie haters.

The video, released two weeks ago, has more than 7.1 million views on YouTube. Called "Imagine the Possibilities," the ad features young girls with grown-up careers giving "expert" instructions to adults in real-life.

"Hidden cameras capture real reactions to girls imagining everything they might one day become," the video's description states. The girls do everything from coaching a sports team, giving a lecture as a professor and caring for animals as a veterinarian.

Mattel did not respond to a request for comment.

The ad is a reversal from the Teen Talk Barbie that once said, "Math class is tough," and a book that described how computer engineer Barbie asked her male friends for help in coding. Mattel is working hard to change Barbie's image amid sagging sales of the iconic doll. Last week, Mattel reported its third-quarter earnings dropped 33 percent to $223.8 million.

Michelle Combs of Cincinnati, Ohio, a blogger with four children, said she "laughed out loud" watching the ad.

"The kids are adorable and the message was positive," Combs said. "So much better than the Barbie that was programmed to say 'Math class is hard.'"

Andra Watkins, a writer from Charleston, S.C., who refuses to buy a Barbie for her niece, said she can't argue with the message that girls can be anything, but she said the ad wasn't quite a home run either. She said the adult responses in the ad were off-putting.

"It was like no adult took these girls seriously. If the girls were 'imagining' how they were perceived, how off-putting and sad," Watkins said.

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