Last week someone sent me a link to a video for GoldieBlox, a toy company, that features toys for kids (and parents) jaded by the Princess theme that has taken over the toy industry in this country for that past few years.
I had never heard of the company before, and it was a serendipitous discovery, because of what I have been working on with my students –a Rube Goldberg idea. More about this in a moment.
While most girl’s toys have been Disney-fied, Goldieblox’s products are engineering-inspired. One of their blog posts (titled “An Apology To My Future Daughter”) gives you the reason d’être:
“I apologize that I’m going to have to lie to you. I’m afraid there is a 99.99% chance you won’t grow up to be a princess. I’m afraid I would rather you become an engineer…”
So back to the video, an advertisement, nonetheless, which communicates sans words why science and engineering could be fun for kids, Levers, pulleys, wheels, ramps..all made from everyday objects to create something fantastic. The storyline is about kids who are bored with Princess-saturated television, and go on to create a contraption that uses everyday objects in the home to… turn off the boring fare on TV! If Disney’s princess-fantasy machine has numbed parents’ toy choices, Goldieblox’s ‘Princess Machines’ tries to reverse the trend.
No voice-overs required.
However, another communication issue flared up. Not about toys or machines, but about copyright. In November Beastie Boy’s filed a lawsuit against the use of its song (parodied), “Girls.” That’s a whole other communication issue worth unpacking since it is involves ‘fair use’.
My guess is that the band would drop the charge, once it realizes the bigger picture –beyond a viral ad -of empowering girls.
It won’t help, once the rest of the media begin to see story angles such as “Why Beastie Boys Isn’t pro Girls.”