Brand Revival: In the Barbie World.
Photo: Warner Bros.
What’s going on?
Mattel unveiled their brand revitalization playbook and unboxed their iconic toy in the highly anticipated movie, “Barbie."
Directed by Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) with a star-studded cast and soundtrack – featuring (of course) a remix of Aqua’s 1990s hit, “Barbie Girl” – Mattel, Inc. and Warner Bros. Pictures’ movie has received massive build-up on social media for months now. But viewers expecting only to see Barbie living a perfect life will have their bubbles burst, as she ventures beyond the plush pearly gates of Barbie Land to discover the not-so-perfect truths about the real world.
Ahead of theaters rolling out their pink carpets, a full-on bubblegum marketing blitz has been in effect:
Warner Bros. and Mattel marketing teams launched a series of digital assets, including a selfie generator.
A Barbie Xbox Series S console and controllers are up for grabs as part of an international sweepstakes.
What's The Squeeze?
We’re all in Barbie’s World, and Mattel has strategically made sure of it with a brand resurgence worth recognizing.
After Barbie’s historic reputation of promoting unrealistic beauty standards and discriminatory representations, the 64-year-old brand was deemed irrelevant after record-low sales in 2015. Since then, Mattel President and COO Richard Dickson has utilized his ‘Mattel Playbook’ – which highlights purpose as “the most important element of any brand” – to give Barbie the ultimate makeover.
As Mattel’s corporate website now says, “Since 1959, Barbie’s purpose has been to inspire the limitless potential in every girl,” a nod to the brand’s repositioning that representation matters. Over the years, Mattel’s made efforts to make the Barbie line more inclusive by introducing dolls with a broad range of skin tones, body shapes and careers. And now, the Barbie movie features multiple portrayals of Barbie and Ken that are far from resembling a carbon-copy assembly line.
Even before its release, it’s safe to say that the movie has accomplished Mattel’s mission to reposition itself from a toy manufacturer to an intellectual property company that sparks cultural conversation. Mattel is one of the hottest stocks of the past month, with shares up 15%.
As Dickson puts it: “The evolution of Barbie can be seen as a case study of how brands with legacy reinvent themselves.”
Learn more from the Mattel Playbook and how the company will revitalize its other brands in the article below.
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