Marketing News: ‘Mr Men’ brand promotes gender equality

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Mr Men is a series of 49 children’s books by British author Roger Hargreaves first published in 1971. In 1981, Hargreaves began the series of Little Miss books with female characters. After Hargreaves’s death in 1988, his son Adam Hargreaves continued the series. Sanrio, the brand’s owner, have to date sold more than 100 million copies in 28 countries.

The latest addition to the collection is ‘Little Miss Inventor’ who is described as intelligent, ingenious and inventive. The new character is the 38th Little Miss. The new book was launched on the 8 March to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Simon Gresswell, Sanrio’s chief operating officer, says the latest addition to the series is part of attempts to encourage girls to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or maths (STEM).“Little Miss Inventor is a way to communicate what young girls can be, especially in the STEM area,” Gresswell added.

Challenging gender stereotypes

Engagement in STEM subjects is crucial at an early age. A recent study by Microsoft found that girls become interested in STEM subjects around age 11 but this interest wanes dramatically by the time they reach 16.

Adam Hargreaves, creator of Little Miss Inventor, said in an interview, “It’s also been nice to write a story that promotes a positive role model and to challenge a stereotype, if only in a small way.”

Sources: Marketingweek, bbc.com, wikipedia
Photo credit: Mr Men and Little Miss wiki

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