More and more, companies are stepping outside the box for their advertising efforts and trying to relate to groups of people who are different than their usual target audience. It has happened over the past year with brands like Tylenol, Hallmark and Nabisco, who began featuring homosexual couples in their ads, much to the chagrin of conservative religious pundits. An interracial family also sparked a discussion earlier this year in a seemingly innocuous Cheerios commercial. Around Halloween, Target featured an ad with a challenged child wearing a costume of Elsa, from Frozen. The girl in the ad wore leg braces and crutches in addition to her costume. These ads not only perform a meaningful social benefit in the eyes of some ad creators, they also bring the companies who make them a lot of buzz, be it praise from progressives or scorn from less open minded individuals.
Recently, Mattel featured an ad for their new Moschino Barbie that starred two little girls and a fabulous boy who declared that Moschino Barbie is “So fierce.” The ad wasn’t much different than other toy ads. It featured kids declaring their love for the toy with a kitschy theme song, but still it is getting a lot of buzz, simply for the fact that it put a boy in a role that is usually reserved for a girl. Thinking outside of the box culturally with advertising that is assumed to be niched in a very tight window of cliches can win big and create enough buzz to give almost any business a big leg up on the status quo.
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