The goal: Inspire the next generation of female trailblazers
If you give a girl a toy car, would she imagine winning a race or would she trade it in for a tea set? According to researchers, most young girls would go for the tea set, thanks to beliefs formed at an early age that some toys are meant for boys and others for girls. To challenge these perceptions, Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) and Mattel have teamed up to show children – particularly girls – that they can aspire to be and do anything they desire when there are no limits.
Tackling the issue of gender stereotypes, Mercedes-Benz will give thousands of girls across the nation a die-cast Matchbox replica of the Mercedes-Benz 220SE commemorating Ewy Rosqvist’s historic Argentinian Grand Prix performance. It was in this car that she shattered world records and the notion that women could not compete.
Mercedes-Benz has a rich history of celebrating women trailblazers dating back to Bertha Benz, wife of the inventor of the automobile. Bertha bucked convention and took the Patent Motorwagen on the first-ever, long-distance drive proving that this strange-looking contraption was a viable mode of transportation.
This year to celebrate International Women’s History Month, MBUSA released a short film – Ewy Rosqvist: An Unexpected Champion.
“Through Ewy’s story, we saw an opportunity to inspire young girls to ‘play outside the box’ and imagine all the different opportunities open to them without the restrictions of traditional stereotypes,” explained Mark Aikman, general manager of marketing services for MBUSA. “We realized that these pioneering women from our past could serve as valuable role models for young girls today and have a positive impact on how they see their future. This led us to collaborate with Matchbox to create a tangible reminder for girls that there are no restrictions on their tomorrow.”
Can a tiny car really change the way our children see themselves?
Mercedes-Benz is betting on it, and they put it to the test. In the short clip, “No Limits,” the company captures young girls reacting to an assortment of toys. When handed a toy car, the girls dismiss it as being “for boys.” But after seeing the short film about Ewy Rosqvist, each of the girls has a visible attitude shift. This mirrors research suggesting that when young girls are exposed to strong positive messages about their gender, it helps to reduce the impact of stereotypes. (For those who have the opportunity to encourage and mentor young girls, check out this discussion guide.
The toy cars will be will be gifted by MBUSA and Mattel/Matchbox (as part of the Dream Gap Foundation) to thousands of young girls through a non-profit partner and sold in stores nationwide beginning in 2020. Proceeds from these sales will be used to make and distribute additional cars. In addition, a teaching toolkit will be provided.
“No Limits” was produced by R/GA (NYC), MBUSA’s partner for its social media platforms and digital campaigns.
About Ewy Rosqvist
Ewy Rosqvist is a Swedish racing champion who in 1962 made history for being the first woman to enter and win one of the toughest rallies in the world. After watching her husband race for years, she decided to take it up herself and entered the Argentinian Grand Prix – a grueling three-day journey across rough terrain. Ewy was ridiculed for entering the race and told she wouldn’t be able to complete the course. Not only did she finish, she went on to be the first person to win every stage of the race, set a speed record and beat the previous champion by over three hours.
About Mercedes-Benz USA
Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), headquartered in Atlanta, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and customer service for all Mercedes-Benz products in the United States. MBUSA offers drivers the most diverse lineup in the luxury segment with 15 model lines ranging from the sporty A-Class sedan to the flagship S-Class and the Mercedes-AMG GT R.
Mattel is a leading global children’s entertainment company that specializes in design and production of quality toys and consumer products. We create innovative products and experiences that inspire, entertain and develop children through play. We engage consumers through our portfolio of iconic franchises, including Barbie®, Hot Wheels®, American Girl®, Fisher-Price®, Thomas & Friends® and MEGA®, as well as other popular brands that we own or license in partnership with global entertainment companies. Our offerings include film and television content, gaming, music and live events. We operate in 40 locations and sell products in more than 150 countries in collaboration with the world’s leading retail and technology companies. Since its founding in 1945, Mattel is proud to be a trusted partner in exploring the wonder of childhood and empowering kids to reach their full potential. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.