How American Girl is crowdsourcing its new campaign

Every little girl who has ever dreamed of being an “American Girl” may at least get to make an ad for one.

The Mattel-owned doll brand is inviting girls between the ages of eight and 14 to star in a short video about two of its dolls: Julie Albright from the 1970s and Maryellen Larkin from the 1950s. Starting Aug. 14, girls — with the help of their parents — can submit three-minute videos of themselves reading from the scripts provided. Those shortlisted will then move on to a public voting phase, starting Aug. 31, where fans can vote online for their favorite video finalists. Two winners get $10,000 and a trip to star in the 15-minute video.

“We have millions of American Girl fans, and we know they all have their own story to share,” said Julie Parks, an American Girl spokesperson. “This is yet another way we can fuel that belonging and connection with all girls — and spark their imaginations.”

American Girl has evolved to do more experiential marketing, adding cafes to its stores and doing stunts like personalized covers of “American Girl” magazine for girls. It used crowdsourcing platform Tongal to execute this push.

The new campaign harks back to American Girl’s early heritage, albeit in a digital form. The brand is best remembered for its historical dolls, but in recent years, it has added more customizable products.

Once complete, the short film will be shared across American Girl’s social channels including Facebook and YouTube. American Girl will also debut a digital scrapbook for its newest doll, called “Maryellen’s Nifty ‘50s Scrapbook.” Its fans will be able to explore the ‘50s through this online digital scrapbook told from Maryellen’s point of view through photos, illustrations, video clips, and games and activities.

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