The founder of Goldie Blox may be writing a dream script for a startup, one that already includes an idea with traction, a madly viral video, and high-profile nod in the New York Times—and an effort that could very well culminate in a Super Bowl commercial on February 2.
One of the videos that Goldie Blox has posted on its YouTube channel since its inception two years ago has gotten skyrocketing views, over 7 million so far, according to MarketingDaily.com. It shows young girls in stereotypical pink princess outfits suddenly breaking out of character to grab a tool kit, goggles and hard hats, constructing things with Goldie Blox building-block toys.
“Girls to build the spaceship / Girls to code the new app / Girls to grow up knowing / They can engineer that,” the video hums, adapting an old Beastie Boys song. “It’s OK to be a princess,” Goldie Blox Founder and CEO Debbie Sterling, a Stanford University mechanical-engineering graduate, told the New York Times. “We just think girls can build their own castles too.”[more]
Goldie Blox seems to have hit retail shelves and American culture with its games and books that encourage girls to become engineers at just the right time: Hand-wringing over girls’ collectively lower interest in the “STEM” disciplines—science, technologies, engineering and math—seems to be crescendoing. Just a quarter of technical jobs are held by women, the newspaper reported.
In fact, while there are signs that tech companies are hiring more women, they still appear to make up less than half of all new hires in the industry, according to the Times. In the year ended in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, female employees comprised 60 percent of the net increase in computer-industry employees in the US. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the tech industry hired more women than men, because the numbers reflect a net change. And, anyway, women still account for only about a quarter of employees at Apple, Google, Facebook and other tech giants, the newspaper said.
But Goldie Blox’s success “really does highlight that this gap is not that little girls aren’t intersted in it, it really is a function of ‘you can’t be what you can’t see,'” said Rachael Sklar, founder of TheLi.st, a digital media company for women, according to the Times.
The full-on use of YouTube and other social media has demonstrated that Sterling is as good a marketer as an engineer. Goldie Blox also relied for its initial capital on Kickstarter and has benefited from promotions on Upworthy, a site that posts content with a social mission.
And Goldie Blox also has managed to qualify as one of four finalists for what would be a grand prize indeed: a Super Bowl commercial that will be awarded for telecast by Intuit, the small-business software specialist, during the Big Game on behalf of the winning company. Given that Goldie Blox already has produced nearly a half-dozen of its own video ads, maybe they’ve got content for a Super Bowl spot ready to go.