Will A More PC Barbie Revive The Brand?
Toymaker Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) is at long last responding to critics who claim the company's ultra thin Barbie dolls are antiquated and send a bad message to the young girls who play with them.
The iconic doll used to be a major moneymaker for the firm, but in recent years, a focus on empowering young girls and wiping out body issues has shined a negative light on the doll. However, Mattel CEO Chris Sinclair has made a concerted effort to revive the brand, and it appears he may be successful.
Sinclair has been working to improve the firm's marketing efforts and shifting the message that the firm's Barbie dolls send.
In 2015, Mattel launched a new marketing campaign that focused on Barbie's different career prospects and how they can inspire young girls. The firm's commercial made the rounds on social media as women shared and commented that the new image had changed their opinion on the doll.
Now, Mattel is releasing a new line of Barbies with differing body types to complete the brand's image makeover. The latest Barbie model will come in three different sizes— curvy, petite and tall. Having a variety of body sizes is meant to help promote a "broader view of beauty" according to Evelyn Mazzocco, Mattel's Senior Vice President of the Barbie brand.
The variety of body shapes follows last year's revamp, which added a wider variety of skin tones and facial structures.
Is It Enough?
Barbie sales have been on the decline over the past two years, and the latest Barbie makeovers are an effort to stymie that fall. However, many investors wonder whether the doll's new body shapes will be enough to revive the brand. Mattel execs say the future is promising for the latest Barbie dolls and that by more closely aligning the doll with reality, the brand is hoping to draw in more interest from both parents and children.
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