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Recent Articles

Barbie sales have been falling for years, proving that children don’t purchase Barbie dolls like they used to. But, it seems Mattel is trying to change that and in doing so they’re revamping Barbie’s image.

In the past we’ve seen Barbie in her signature high heels, in glamorous ballroom gowns, in her awesome convertible or in lots of pink. Now Mattel is taking a girl-power approach to their marketing in an attempt to finally get with the times.

A new ad from Mattel asks: “What happens when girls are free to imagine they can be anything?” Little girls appear as professionals offering their knowledge to the adults around them. The ad shows girls living out what they hope to be, which is exactly what children do with their dolls – act out scenarios they imagine or hope to be in one day.

The ad is empowering and completely different from what we’ve seen from the brand in some time, which is probably part of the reason why it’s so great. And, while Barbie seems stronger on the inside, we can’t help but notice that she looks exactly the same on the outside. They may have changed Barbie’s image, but they didn’t change her perfect appearance, which has us wondering if the ad will have the effect that Mattel is hoping for.

Regardless of what the ad does to Barbie sales, Mattel is encouraging young girls to “imagine everything she can become” and teaching them they can “be anything.” It’s an ad that we think is created right.

Barcelona Creative Group has produced a new animated video, entitled Discover the Benefits of Self-Funding, for the National Association of Employee Benefit Administrators (NAEBA). Featuring a bold, fresh white board format, the program is brief, emphasizing the advantages of self-insured health benefit plans in under two minutes.

Produced by Barcelona Creative Group and licensed to the NAEBA, the video was created to serve as a marketing tool for Third Party Administration firms participating in the NAEBA. To view the program or obtain information about the NAEBA, visit www.naeba.net/self-funding-video.

About the NAEBA

The National Association of Employee Benefit Administrators is a cooperative marketing association dedicated to helping member TPA firms market employee benefits administration in very innovative ways. By combining traditional media with new digital and social media tools, members are better able to convey the importance of self-funded health benefit plans, expert administration and the cost control strategies that set independent TPAs apart. Contact Thomas Barcelona, NAEBA Executive Director at 630/320-6424 ext. 1300,  tom@barcelonacreative.com and visit www.naeba.net.

When you’re training for any sport or sporting event – whether its in sweltering Arizona or the Alaskan tundra – your clothes should be able to adapt to your body and the weather. Big brands like Nike and Adidas excel in these areas, but now Under Amour is challenging both brands with their new ad campaign.

“Rule Yourself” is a mix of the typical pro-athlete commercial you see everyday, with a twist to focusing on the self. The marketing staff at Under Armour acquired some of the top professional athletes out there today to participate in the campaign – basketball MVP Stephen Curry, professional ballerina Misty Copeland, Super Bowl champion Tom Brady and Master’s champion golfer Jordan Spieth.

In the commercial, all three athletes separately train and practice in their familiar settings, while video frames form “an army of clones” surrounding the athlete. The sweat begins to pour from their heads, but not once do they stop their training. At the end of the commercial the athletes stop for a few seconds to breathe and then they keep going. Progress has been made as another day of practice ends.

As video frames continue to look at the many clones of the athlete, viewers can see that in some of them they are wearing different clothes. Under Armour defines this as the progression of each training day. At some point, most of us have been told that the more you practice, the better you will become. However, instead of saying “practice makes perfect,” Under Armour claims, “you are the sum of all your training.” Watching this army of clones gives you a sense of just how many hours Curry, Spieth, Brady and Copeland spend on their training.

“It redefines what it means to be successful in training and unites all-star athletes around the globe,” said Adam Peake, Vice President of Marketing for Under Armour.

Inspiration for this campaign may not have just been about the hard practices of professional athletes. Malcolm Gladwell once theorized that it would take 10,000 hours of practice to become the best at something. While the commercial doesn’t time how many hours each athlete spends training, it does express the dedication and perseverance that each shows when he or she hits the court, course, field or studio.

But is the campaign enough to excel Under Armour past Nike in the battle to be the most powerful athletic brand in the world? Nike holds title to “most valuable sport brand in the world,” “most valuable apparel brand in the world” and is listed as #18 on Forbes’ World’s Most Valuable Brands for 2015. However, Business Insider reported that Under Armour recently took 2nd place as the world’s most valuable sport brands, surpassing Adidas. There’s no doubt as to which brand has the upper hand, but Under Armour continues to increase in popularity and may continue to thanks to “Rule Yourself.”

Watch the “Rule Yourself” Campaign Commercials:

At BCG, we all love puppies. We even have an official “Office Therapist,” AKA, Norman the Westie. It’s probably why we also all cracked up over Purina Puppy and Dog Chow’s latest campaign. The program, titled “Welcome to the Puppyhood,” was launched with a YouTube video via Buzzfeed and received more than 4 million views within the first two weeks.

The video explores the work, care and effort that goes into welcoming a new puppy into the house. A grown, single man named Max is walking downtown and hears a small bark from outside a pet shelter. In front of him is a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel that instantly steals his heart. After purchasing dog food, a small kennel and toys, he brings the puppy home for the first time. For a while, it seems that all the two are doing is staring at each other until Max decides to choose a name for his new female pup: Chloe. After showing her around the house and introducing her to his collection of 80s and 90s music records, all is well between the puppy-human relationship…until Chloe walks in on Max using the bathroom and subsequently destroys his work project. Patience is tested until Max learns to forgive Chloe and realizes that having a companion isn’t so bad. In the end, you see the two eating breakfast together with a bag of Purina Puppy Chow in the background.

This campaign could almost be seen as the first awkward steps of moving in with a boyfriend or girlfriend. You show them the place, tell them you’re open to change, figure out little things that you have not known about them before, run into some uncomfortable situations and live casually and content in the end. Adopting a puppy is a large commitment and requires a lot of getting used to. You have someone new in your life, so you must do whatever you can to make them happy. Thanks to Purina’s campaign, the struggles of puppy parenthood can be stretched to anyone thinking about adopting a pet.

Purina’s video illustrates the most realistic scenarios of what happens when you bring home your first pet. What do you do first? Go on a walk? Stare at it until it falls asleep? Give it a toy? Puppy parenthood did not come with a manual, but it does come with lots of love and a lot of support from the Purina staff. Puppyhood.com is the new virtual and interactive way to take care of your puppy in the best way possible. Thanks to experts and scientists that have partnered with Purina, new pet owners can learn about everything from naming their puppy to how often they need to exercise, eat and sleep.

You can research before adopting your puppy by downloading the “new puppy checklist” or clicking on the “interactive dog walk” link. Once you bring your puppy home, there are other links of what to do when your puppy has allergies, how to teach it to swim, play fetch and train them with verbal and hand gestures. Website contributors also post articles frequently such as: when to switch from puppy food to adult dog food, how not to let them jump on people and what to do if your puppy starts gaining weight. After all, feeding good food from the table may be a good way to get rid of leftovers, but not if your puppy becomes too comfy to go on a walk.

A favorite link on the website by the staff is the name generator. It’s set up like the old-fashioned MadLibs we all did in the car during a family vacation. The sentence is set up as followed: “My _ _ is gonna love to _ after he/she _.” You can select adjectives, nouns and actions that a puppy is typically described as being or doing. For example, a staff member selected the sentence “My little peanut is gonna love to cuddle up after he gets a belly rub” and the generator told me that because I picked this sentence, I should name my puppy Bruce. The name generator is amusing and completely personalized to entertain and make puppy-adopting more fun and less stressful.

Purina’s latest digital advertising is no doubt becoming a big success. After all, who doesn’t love puppies? They’re able to advertise not only their product, but the importance and encouragement of adopting a pet. “Puppyhood” is available for everyone who has or is considering adopting a puppy and has many options for preparing to bring him or her home. Register now at puppyhood.com.