My Little Pony, The Friendship Curriculum

The brand that believes friendship is magic transformed parent-teacher conferences and curricula into friendship celebrations.

Millennial parents want toys they can share with their children and engagement from both child and parent ("co-engagement") has become a make-or-break measure for toy brands. Research shows less than half of children who love My Little Pony have parents who are "co-engaging". This is for two reasons: My Little Pony doesn’t teach obvious 'skills’, and millennial parents don’t have the same nostalgic connection to the brand as previous generations. Since it launched in 1981, the number of toy brands in the US has exploded. Market share softened and retail sales were down. My Little Pony needed to engage millennial parents and prove that their toys are an invaluable friendship tool and that friendship is an invaluable skill. In a moment typically reserved for measuring academic success, parent-teacher conferences, My Little Pony elevated the value of friendship skills by showing parents a new perspective. Parents came to hear how their child was doing in school, but they didn’t meet with the teacher. They met with their child’s best friend hearing a firsthand viewpiont on their child's softer skills. Parents saw success in a new way, turning a social experiment, into a social conversation about the value of friendship. This led to a curriculum dedicated to elevating friendship in the classroom. In 2018, a school in NYC became the first to have peer-to-peer friendship assessments on their report card, showing a new way to look at success and it started with being a friend.