GoldieBlox viral video turns tables on little-girl princess fantasy


Girls rule! A pink empowerment video making the rounds is so darn cute you may not care that it’s a not so thinly veiled commercial for an upstart toy company. Just watch and see.

“The Princess Machine” video was posted on YouTube this week and quickly went viral. It has more than 6 million views thanks to its infectious riff on what some could say is one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most blatantly sexist songs: the Beastie Boys’ “Girls.” (“All I really want is girls ... to do the dishes ... to clean up my room ... to do the laundry.”)

But the GoldieBlox version turns the popular tune inside out and upside down, resulting in a glorious anthem of female empowerment as played out by three little girls who aren’t interested in just playing princess, but also engineering and physics and more.


GoldieBlox founder and Chief Executive Debbie Sterling is a Stanford engineering-and-design grad. She says on her website that she’s out to even the engineering playing field, in which nearly 90% of working engineers are men. The problem, according to GoldieBlox, is that young girls don’t have enough educational building blocks -- meaning toys -- made with girls in mind that might steer them toward engineering.

“By designing a construction toy from the female perspective, we aim to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers,” says the GoldieBlox website. “We believe there are a million girls out there who are engineers. They just might not know it yet. We think GoldieBlox can show them the way.”

Not coincidentally, that means buying toys like “GoldieBlox and the Spinning Machine” for $29.99. The game revolves around Goldie, the girl inventor, and aims to help teach spatial skills, engineering principles and confidence in problem-solving.

Speaking of problem-solving: The viral video is only the latest example of the ways in which shrewd Madison Avenue-types are using social media to market wares in an increasingly cluttered marketplace. It also seems to underscore the public’s willingness to be marketed to -- as long as genuine entertainment is coupled with the pitch. (Two other clever examples: This bid to conjure up interest in the “Carrie” remake, and this Jean-Claude Van Damme Volvo Trucks stunt.)

What did you think of the video?


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