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Company: Tulipan Condoms
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Tulipan
Ad Title: Barbie
Business Category: Personal Products
Media Outlets: Television
Country: Argentina
Region: Latin/South America
Agency: Y&R
Year: 1998
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

Age Diversity

Racial Diversity

Same-Sex Affection

GLBT Inclusion

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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A father finds his son playing with Barbie dolls. The next day, his father brings him two soldier dolls and shows him how to be violent with them instead. Checking on his child that night, the father finds the two soldiers on the floor and his son has the Barbies tucked in with him in bed.

Fast forward, and the boy -- who is now a man -- is waking up with two live Barbie-types in his bed. The hunky guy then walks into the kitchen to find his roommate (or is it his father?) -- who's wearing a silk Kimono -- suggestively feeding two other men at breakfast. The guests swish their shoulders to music and lewdly look at the straight guy.

The text reads "Pick whatever you want, just pick Tulipan Condoms."

Despite the non-judgmental selling line, the depiction of gays here is a classic stereotype.

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Guy Bertrand , Montreal, QC
I hate it. What I hear is this: "Hey parents, don't worry if your little boy plays with dolls, he may turn out normal after all." This ad perpetuates the notion that it is always a relief to find out your child is straight.
David McCreedy , Denver
Are you sure that's not his father (instead of a roommate) at the end with the two gay men?

Michele , New York, NY
Um... that's his dad with the two guys. The message seems to be that the kid is playing with Barbies because he likes girls -- and his dad is into guys. Hunky guys at that. The women are just as exaggerated as the guys -- it's a fantasy. If anything, the commercial is saying that macho dad is gay, and I think that's a good thing.

John , Lanzarote, Spain
I have seen this spot on tv and it's wonderful. It's one of the best spots that I have seen in my life.

Michael Spencer , Seattle, WA
That's definitely his father, not his roommate. And the two men with his father are the two GI-Joes come to life -- the two GI-Joes that the father was trying to get his son to play with.

Nicolas Farrell , Buenos Aires
I don't know why you labeled it negative. The ad is not stereotyping but making a joke about stereotypes, by letting people think that the boy is gay and the father is a suburban-Catholic (see cross on the wall) married straight guy when finally it shows stereotyping can be all wrong. I know Tulipan condoms owners and they actively place ads on Argentine gay magazines and donate condoms to gay bars and clubs in Buneos Aires, while some foreign big companies label their condoms "for woman and men intercourse". The ad said that "whatever your election is" (gay or straight) you should use condoms, something not easy in a Catholic environment like Argentine media...read between lines before judging ads...

Max Shultz , Antioch, CA
I found this ad to be ambiguous. There are many ways this ad could be interpreted. I trust that Nicolas from Buenos Aires understands the ad, and that he is right that the ad is a positive depiction.

Fabio Lopez , Buenos Aires
I agree with Nicolas and the others who think the ad was positive and very fun.

Scott , Sidney, IA
Did anyone notice the GI Joe dolls? The "positions" they fell on the floor? I see nothing wrong with a boy playing with Barbie dolls. It just shows he wants to understand women.

Michael , Tampa, FL
This was a hilarious fantasy, and yes, that IS the dad in the final scene with the macho GI-Joes come to life. C'mon, lighten up, Tulipan is tweaking us with a little humor here...and we love it.

Keith , Winston-Salem, NC
I thought the ad was great. Besides, what's wrong with having a little fun with stereotypes. Don't we do it ourselves? I do have a question, though. Does anyone know the name of the song in the ad? I'd love to have a copy of it.

Sergio , Montreal, CA
I thought the ad was excellent! And it DID take me a while to realize two things. First, that's the father at the end of the commercial. Second, just like the Barbie dolls materialized, the two GI-Joes, one blonde and one black, did as well! By the way, the song's name is by Sin With Sebastian and, without any surprise, is called "Shut Up (And Sleep With Me)."

Wubby , Philadelphia, PA
The boy played with the Barbies because he wanted to see them naked. His dream was of him with the two Barbies in bed. When his dad forced the two GI Joes on him, he dreamed that his dad was gay (with the two live GI Joes at the end).

Isa , Helsinki, Finland
This is so brilliant! It's not only humorous, it's insightful - I, at least, see it as an ad that makes you think. It seems to imply that things don't always go the way you assume, and that sexuality can be complicated and there are many reasons to what we're interested in. It's a statement against labelling and jumping to conclusions. I don't know if the ending is the future or a fantasy-type thing, a fictional illustration explaining their motives. The latter would be artistic, but the former would be the happiest possible outcome: the dad is totally liberated and they're both getting some. In any case, I agree with John. This is one of the best ever.

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