In 2009, in the middle of the global financial collapse, Patti McCreary and her business partner Steve Utaski founded Remedy Pictures, a production company that provides “meaningful and distinctive content” for agencies, corporations, design firms and non-profits, “with a wry smile whenever possible.” A smile, along with some good belly laughs, is exactly what they have elicited with their new video… Lil’ Liberals.
Steve is the father of a 14 and 11-year old girl, and husband to a woman who is “constantly working for social change”. Patti, a mom to a 14-year old boy, and self-proclaimed feminist, “definitely wants to teach him to be a great citizen of the world, who respects women.” In an attempt to show their children an alternative to the messages that are being fed to them by marketers, they created Lil’ Liberals.
“What if a doll really had an opinion, and was willing to speak up and step on some toes?”
The inspiration for the parody came from Steve’s mail carrier, “My daughters were on the American Girl doll catalog mailing list, which arrived with alarming regularity. The dolls were so garish and tacky to me I couldn’t reconcile them as being American in the slightest, which lead me to wonder, ‘What might an American Girl doll look like, or better yet, an un-American Girl? What if a doll really had an opinion, and was willing to speak up and step on some toes?'”
“Since we make commercials for a living we wanted to turn the mirror on ourselves and lampoon the stock-in-trade tools of youth advertising. The massive marketing machine behind American Girl doll got on our nerves. What if instead of wanting flowing locks, and impossible figures, girls grew up idolizing social change? If this alternate universe actually existed, this might be what the TV commercials looked like. The “Un-American Girls,” Steve and Patti explained to WYSK in an interview.
“We tried to ride that line right down the center of the blue and red state divide. The idea was to be edgy, but not offend. Depending on who you ask, we failed miserably, or did great. Which I guess is about all you can hope for. That and a few laughs!”