2014 was the year of the girl. The trend started with toy startup Goldie Blox’s Super Bowl XLVIII ad that taught us that toys for girls don’t have to be pretty or pink – they need to be smart and focused on skills needed for the future. The Always brand followed suit with its “Like a Girl” campaign, challenging why we perceive the phrase “like a girl” with a negative connotation. Lego is now joining the ranks of brands redefining gender roles with its launch of the #KeepBuilding campaign.
Consistently scrutinized by consumers for having an unbalanced male/female ratio of characters, Lego recently launched a new set of female-oriented toys and robust communications. Collaborating with over 10,000 supporters on Lego’s fan-driven Lego Ideas website, the brand crowdsourced the thinking behind its female minifigure set called the Research Institute, featuring a female astronomer, paleontologist, and chemist. This month, Lego launched the #KeepBuilding effort, a strong message to moms and girls to show how play can utilize skills such as creativity and problem-solving, and instill the self-confidence to learn and grow independently. In addition to an inspiring video, parents and kids can follow the #KeepBuilding hashtag on Lego’s Pinterest page for fun and creative projects using Legos and other materials.
Female empowerment campaigns have been on the upswing – with major commitments and efforts to boost technical skills (e.g., Google’s Made with Code) and self-esteem (e.g., Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty). Lego’s recent campaign highlights how brands can use play to equip kids with important life skills, such as science and engineering, at a young age. Through product innovation and new programs, companies have the ability and scale to truly make a difference in addressing inequalities and redefining roles within society.