This morning our 6-year-old daughter was watching a few programs on “ABC Kids”. Club Libby Lu’s “FAB-U-LUS” Back-to-School makeover commercial must have run at least 10 times. And, it probably would have gone by me unnoticed if my daughter hadn’t expressed her exasperation at being subjected to this advertising onslaught after seeing it for the 5th time.Obnoxious in the frequency in it which it runs its ads, Club Libby Lu’s campaign to translate their over-the-top, princess, rocker, and Disney Channel star makeovers for young girls into legitimate back-to-school looks is hardly believable. And, is this really consistent with the messages we expect to be promoted on G-rated television network?
My husband summed it up well when he said, “Are they serious? Who would send their girl to school in a cheesy Sharpay Halloween costume?”
Here’s a quote from Club Libby Lu’s mission, as posted on their website:
At Club Libby Lu®, our mission is to create special memories by encouraging tween girls to express their imaginations and individuality. …Girls join the Club, where they become V.I.P.s (Very Important Princesses®) and enjoy a fun, safe and special place where they can unlock their inner princess!™
It is disconcerting to me that there are so many inconsistencies with Club Libby Lu’s stated mission and how it’s reflected in this new campaign. What kind of “special memories” are created and what kind of “imagination and individuality” expressed by going to school imitating a glittery fictitious teen celebrity?
I also question how many of their stated target “tween” audience watches ABC Kids on Saturday mornings. It seems to me that they are targeting a much younger and more impressionable audience with this aggressive promotion. In light of this, I’m not sure I should continue to trust Club Libby Lu as a company.
And when did the Sharpay Evan’s outrageous character in High School Musical (the one who repeatedly behaves in a self-absorbed manner for 95% of the movie and is rapidly brought back to reality at the very end) become an accepted school fashion or behavior standard for young girls?
Finally, similar to my previous articles on Disney Channel clothing and the Goth/Rocker trend, Club Libby Lu costume-like apparel has absolutely no lasting value for resale or otherwise. Out of curiosity, I checked eBay, and I found only 23 active listings and about 70 items in stores — most under $10.
In doing research this for post, I came across a lot of negative opinions on the internet regarding Club Libby Lu and the values they appear to be promoting. A couple of the more interesting pieces were from thw Washington Post and Daddy Types weblog for new Dads.
All that said, my daughters have been to Club Libby Lu for birthday parties and had a wonderful time. But, would I take them there to shop for school clothes? No. In fact, it never would have crossed my mind before I saw the commercials this morning. And now that I’ve seen the commercials, I may even avoid the store for some occasional fun and imaginative play in the future.
Suzanne Rielle, Co-Founder, Loobalee.com