An Inside Look at the #KindMonsters Movement

September 06, 2017


Last year, Born This Way Foundation and Mattel’s Monster High partnered to create #KindMonsters! Together, we work to spread the message of kindness and acceptance through the launch of our Monster High Doll and the #KindMonsters Pledge. Since the start of this movement, the #KindMonsters community has expressed their enthusiasm and support for creating a kinder and braver world with thousands of young people have signed the pledge.

We caught up with MaryAnne VanTyne, Global Digital Engagement & Social Media Marketing Manager for Mattel to talk about her role in the #KindMonsters campaign.

Tell us about your role at Mattel?
I’ve worked at Mattel for about three years, and I’m the lead for the Mattel’s Girl Brands including Monster High, Ever After High, DC Super Hero Girls, My Mini Mixie Q’s and more across U.S. and Global markets. Since I started, I took the social account from about 10K followers to over 300K followers to even 2M followers.

What trends do you see online that make the #KindMonsters campaign so important?
I think that one of the things that I’ve I noticed is that kids test their boundaries in terms of what they could get away with.  It used to be in the schoolyard, but now it’s online. It could be a tough situation. As a community manager within the Monster High account, I see this happen and step in many times and watch other fan’s step in while wanting to foster a community build on kindness.

What is #KindMonsters, and how did it come to be?
In 2015, when we first started talking with Born This Way Foundation, Kindness became the real theme we were going to focus on for Monster High, and I loved it! I instantly fell in love with the idea of kindness and how to be kind online. I saw a moment that could kick off our campaign in a big way: International Kindness Day on Nov. 13th.  Which, in 2015, happened to fall on a Friday – which is perfect for Monster High because of Friday the 13th.

Sounds like great timing! 
Yes, I thought, what a great moment to celebrate our partnership with BTWF, talk about kindness on International Kindness Day, and start owning Kindness. So, we created a campaign that talks about the different ways the Monster High Characters are kind. We talked about how Frankie is inclusive and welcoming, how Jackie Laura accepts everyone and then asked our fans to show us what kindness means to them through doll photography, specifically.

What was the reaction from the #KindMonsters community?  
It was incredible; we immediately saw people showing dolls at a table and welcoming a new doll to sit with them, we saw people coming together to lift other dolls up and support the show.

It sounds like the #KindMonsters are excited about the dolls and their mission to spread kindness!
Yes, and the launch was the same day as the Paris attacks, and we realized that while we were celebrating all this kindness, a tragic event happened in the world. We have a character in Monster High that is from Paris, her name is Rochelle, and suddenly all our fans started taking their Rochelle dolls and using #KindMonsters to reach out to people in Paris. To stand by Paris and show solidarity. It was such a beautiful gesture, and of course, we shared it as well.

What was your team’s reaction to that?
It was such a beautiful moment and you know it’s something I think everyone at Mattel got goosebumps over and we’re like this is something and we need to keep it going. We must keep nurturing it and show kindness in a way that is unexpected.

How did the online community react?
It performed so well, and we saw that not only were the kids really into it but also parents. I think that parents recognize that their kids are online these days and they want there to be a safe space. [Through this campaign] we were sort of saying, “Come to Monster High and this will be a safe place to be kind to one another and to learn about kindness” and to exemplify that. There’s no better opportunity to start a new habit of kindness than through young people. Now is the time to get them to think about ways to support each other.

What are some ways young people can join the #Kind Monsters movement?
First, I would love for them to sign the #KindMonsters Pledge on Born This Way Foundation’s website. Secondly, I think would be either following Born This Way Foundation and Monster High on social media and tell us how you see kindness. We just want to make sure that everyone feels safe and welcome.  Not only within our Born This Way Foundation and Monster High community but all around the world.

As MaryAnne mentioned above, we invite you to take the pledge, check us out on social media and tell us how you see kindness!