Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker

Don't Conform, Transform

“Influencing with Integrity”: Kind Campaign & Monster High

In this new video interview, Jess Weiner talks with Lauren and Molly of the Kind Campaign about the difficulties of funding a movement and the challenge of maintaining the integrity of their message as they partner with Mattel. In some great news for those who love the Kind Campaign but aren’t big fans of Monster High or corporate marketing in the schools, Lauren and Molly assured Jess that their partnership with Mattel will NOT bring the Monster High brand into schools. ¬†They maintain that their school programs will be the same as they have always been.

In some great news for fans of Monster High, Lauren and Molly discuss in greater depth how their partnership with Mattel will influence Monster High for the better. As was briefly discussed in the press release announcing the partnership, the makers of the MH video series will incorporate the Kind Campaign and even Lauren and Molly into the story. Hopefully this will help the videos become more centered on helping their fans really learn to embrace their differences and celebrate the power of kindness. That is a lofty goal and certainly one that needs to be promoted. If Kind’s partnership with MH truly transforms the brand into one that reaches its goals of helping girls learn to recognize and love diversity, then much good will be done. Mattel does produce the American Girl doll brand, which promotes positive messages, so perhaps they’ll move the MH brand in a more positive direction as well.

One of the things that Jess discusses with Lauren and Molly is the challenge of having a passion to change the world but limited funding. Kind has already done big things, but to achieve their dreams, they need deeper pockets. Who has deep pockets? Corporations, of course. One of the difficulties for anyone who is making an effort to promote change is funding. From those running for public office because they want to make a difference in our political system to those starting a campaign to redefine beauty or girly, to those promoting transforming the way we see ourselves in relationship to media, each one needs funding if their message is going to be widely heard. I think Jess’ question about maintaining integrity while partnering with a corporation to increase influence is an important one. It’s clearly not going to be an easy process for Kind, just as it isn’t for any of us. But I wish them the best as they struggle to balance their need for sponsorship and their desire to bring their very powerful and important message to more girls. What do you think? Is it possible to partner with a large company and maintain the integrity of a grass roots message? Can you think of positive or negative examples? I’d love to know your thoughts on this issue.

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One comment on ““Influencing with Integrity”: Kind Campaign & Monster High

  1. Lisa
    May 28, 2011

    Tell Mattel to watch American Idol and learn something about what tween girls and their moms – the largest voting block on AI – really like. The talented and sexy, curvy, beautiful Pia was voted off pretty early, while the talented and pretty, sweet-looking, typical teen-looking Lauren made it to the finals. They both had great voices, but Pia’s was arguably better. Still, the tweens & moms identified and rooted for Lauren.

    I get that Mattel just wants to make a buck and they have shareholders to answer to. But sexing up dolls is not the only way, and not necessarily the best way.

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