Great little PR stunt: ‘Dad bod’ male dolls

Mattel was applauded for catching up with modern attitudes towards female beauty when Barbie was given a few more curves and lost her thigh-gap last week. However the toy manufacturer failed to answer, when asked, whether Ken would be receiving the same body-positive treatment. This led to an outcry on Twitter. 

Enter fashion website, Lyst. Lyst is in the national papers today (including The Telegraph and The Guardian) for its range of male dolls that have undergone a ‘dad bod’ makeover.

The dolls are not available to buy; but cleverly, the outfits they’re wearing, are.

Why is this brilliant PR?

  • The stunt addresses a hot-topic: ‘Hunkvertising’
  • It promotes a positive brand message, that Lyst recognises and caters for all body types
  • It subtly promotes Lyst's range of clothes (in miniature form)
  • The brand is seen as cheekily championing men (providing a small amount of controversy as it also implies that Mattel has failed to do so)
  • It’s picture led - PR campaigns often neglect imagery yet a strong picture dramatically increases the chances of a publication running a story)
  • It’s cheap - How much does it cost to produce six dolls and miniature clothes?

The principle of such a timely, quick and easy PR stunt that doesn't cost the world are universal, regardless of business or sector. The fundamentals here are solid and that's why it succeeds.

Lyst gives male dolls 'dad bod' makeover after Mattel fails to

Mattel launches new 'curvy' Barbies


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