order dutasteride cheap cialis sublingual cheap ketoconazole shampoo order isoniazid side order citalopram online order trandate vidal cheap shuddha guggulu and ayurslim cheap calendar printing erexin v discount opinie order weight loss meals cheap kamagra gold za potenciju buy cialis jelly online australia cheap viagra professional kaufen buy mircette dosage cheap kamagra tablets next day delivery buy rhinocort you buy lamisil uk cheap toprol xl interactions diclofenac gel discount upotreba order deltasone dosage order lasix buy cialis from canadian pharmacy buy urispas in usa buy aricept you sleep aid discount zzzquil cheap purim wiki cheap diclofenac gel brand name cheap cozaar a prescription cheap femcare buy antabuse pills cheap toradol fiale buy strattera reviews cheap v gel higher nature buy ginette 35 mrp buy atorlip 20 dosage arava discount pharmacy buy aricept kuala lumpur nitroglycerin discount order cialis soft italia buy alli online amazon buy nizagara dosage buy aricept brazil can you buy pyridium in canada order vantin medication buy anti fungal xerophthalmia order clonidine hcl order remeron uses how to order provigil online zeroth order buy cholesterol lowering grains order septilin syrup order trazodone in canada buy topamax for weight loss order amitriptyline hcl order alphagan eye order imuran by mail cheap glucotrol xl kullan?m s,ekli buy l tryptophan vs 5 htp olanzapine discount card buy bupropion sr joint pain buy female cialis super active online risperdal discount coupons buy lisinopril online uk wellbutrin sr discount glaxosmithkline buy minocycline in europe buy lithium aluminum hydride cheap legit viagra liv 52 discount capsules menosan buy buy lithium pills diarex discount vouchers order diclofenac gel wirksamkeit buy antifungal tablets buy tadalis sx tadalis-sx vs tadacip urispas discount online bentyl discount voucher order calcium carbonate good or bad buy robaxin 750 mg buy zyrtec generic order erectile dysfunction causes and treatment buy cialis soft tabs buy brand name lexapro cheap paroxetine online cheap anti viral version buy tetracycline powder cymbalta for cheap buy lexapro in mexico xalatan discount program buy azulfidine korea order calcium carbonate properties buy dapoxetine review micardis discount vouchers buy hoodia lollipops australia buy rogaine 5 zealand cheap atorlip 20 tabletas 20 mg buy triamterene hctz online order dostinex illegal buy hydrea best place buy tadapox forum order remeron mail cheap ginette 35 tab cheap effexor xr dosage range cheap advair diskus yellow 60 buy hydrea zealand cafergot discount code order hair loss minoxidil order minipress dosage buy revatio accessories order glycomet trio motilium buy in uk zanaflex discount get cheap risperdal alternatives cheap anti virus programs reviews cheap lotensin manufacturer cheap viagra professional order hair loss breakthrough 2013 buy ventolin from asda cheap levothroid online buy rosuvastatin where can cheap cialis super active plus online order cialis safely online buy viagra soft qatar buy olanzapine zyprexa buy triamterene best place order ginette 35 and pregnancy cheap premarin script cheap moduretic uses order wellbutrin sr user reviews cheap mevacor dosage order clonidine safe bystolic prescription discount cheap advair diskus technique rumalaya forte discount en espan~ol cheap diclofenac gel quantity discount levitra online buy propranolol drug cheap emsam products order v gel kith order viagra plus alcohol cheap alli pills free delivery buy lithium titanate battery buy levitra malaysia order calcium carbonate breaks into rhombs cheap eldepryl parkinson order metformin help order cialis soft use cheap diclofenac gel keratosis cheap elavil high buy dutas best place zithromax discount vouchers order ventolin legal order requip generic buying cialis vietnam cheap wellbutrin sr effects buy coumadin australia can you buy naprosyn over the counter cheap prandin order zantac online buy ortho tri cyclen quick start cheap v gel zte blade buy uroxatral generic order diclofenac gel nz cheap advair diskus side effects 250 50 order effexor xr reviews buy emsam diego buy cleocin t solution buy saw palmetto fruit buy bupropion online canada cialis soft discount kaufen methotrexate discount coupon buy viagra plus toronto buy naprosyn you order apcalis sx was ist apcalis-sx buy ginseng online india buy rogaine 2 nz valtrex discount buy clonidine online cheap actoplus met dosage cheap hair loss disease zebeta discount program order diflucan buy ceftin generic order synthroid in canada buy orlistat lloyds pharmacy order levitra canada pain relief discount with uti buy femara usa cheap strattera a prescription cardizem discount card buy female cialis bangkok buy cardizem vegas cheap flagyl er antibiotika cheap viagra professional vs regular viagra order glucotrol xl wikipedia viagra discount buy clomid nolvadex cheap prinivil lek cleocin gel discount and pregnancy diamox discount online cheapest terramycin eye ointment cheap urispas buy buy doxycycline hyclate online buy deltasone canada order requip from india cheap didronel pmo cheap toprol xl usual dosage buy glucotrol xl and metformin triamterene discount voucher order viagra super active information buy xenical hong kong buy real nexium online cymbalta prescription savings card ropinirole discount card shuddha guggulu discount benefits cheap levothroid medication cheap muscle relaxant drugs over the counter buy rogaine 2 percent side effects exelon sprint discount discount viagra with prescription order paroxetine reviews cheap cleocin gel supplied image skincare order form order florinef online buy prednisolone suppositories order wellbutrin sr interactions order erectile dysfunction gnc order benfotiamine tablets where to buy dramamine for dogs buy cymbalta quickly cheapest zanaflex online buy yasmin mogahed reclaim your heart order actoplus met vs janumet hair loss discount xanax buy brand viagra mastercard buy ortho tri cyclen birth control buy men;s health network cheap zyrtec vs lynoral discount cheap generic prevacid cheap actoplus met janumet ethionamide discount buy hydrochlorothiazide zydus men;s health discount workouts cheap glucotrol xl side effects buy atarax online buy motilium online uk buy revatio 20 mg buy prednisone canada online order vasotec iv buy amitriptyline zenuwpijn buy aceon mexico cialis soft discount tabs review discount benicar hct cheap penegra online order cialis soft drinks buy cialis lowest price buy emsam you cheap glucotrol xl vs glipizide cheap cipro online buy anafranil (clomipramine) order glucotrol xl reviews order kytril cheap diovan valsartan how to order acyclovir online buy unisom real buy ortho tri cyclen side effects acne order provigil india order flomax over the counter cheap floxin antibiotic order fincar flagyl er discount reseptbelagt cheap shatavari uses buy synthroid side where to buy chewable dramamine cheap actos viagra professional discount generic cheap female cialis in uk order atorlip 20 efectos secundarios ciprofloxacin order doxycycline cheap wellbutrin online order antabuse last buy prilosec uk cheap florinef uses order accutane kong order voveran sr uses cialis super active discount active buy female viagra manila lariam discount program cheap prednisolone dosage buy arthritis shuddha guggulu discount in tamil sarpinos singapore order online order cytotec buy prednisone in mexico pain relief discount natural buy aleve in canada buy mupirocin bactroban nasal gel ortho tri cyclen discount norgestimate ethinyl estradiol cleocin gel discount counter cheap cholesterol lowering smoothie cheap voveran sr injection tretinoin 0 05 discount airol cheap muscle relaxant generic names wellbutrin sr discount side effects weight loss cheap danazol bodybuilding cheap actoplus met medication guide order furosemide zealand order suhagra online cheap celebrex month buy purinethol vermoeidheid plendil discount voucher levitra discount krasnodar triamterene discount buy order dramamine online cheap female cialis in australia buy cytotec tablets cheap viagra plus vs vigrx buy mircette manufacturer cheap relafen a prescription erexor discount vouchers liv 52 discount bodybuilding buy mentat quote order toprol xl prescribing information buy propecia paypal buy tricor you cheap haldol vidal buy lexapro generic online buy erection packs 1 year cozaar discount voucher cheap glucotrol xl twice a day cheap viagra plus tesco cheap retin-a 0 025 dawkowanie order meclizine prescription order weight loss yoga buy glucotrol xl sales tinidazole discounts buy cholesterol lowering indian diet order terramycin want order hoodia qatar cheap cardizem use buy eurax place cheap effexor xr constipation discount for ventolin order cleocin gel for acne reviews buy baytril injection online order lipothin review buy female viagra que es cheap albendazole australia order doxycycline online uk cheap periactin pills online cheap v gel jual cheap viagra soft birmingham cheap lariam australia levitra professional discount ingredients buy nitroglycerin drops hair loss discount questionnaire zovirax buy amazon cheap brand viagra canada order calcium carbonate and hydrochloric acid cheap rental wedding gowns singapore order phenergan prescription order himcocid cheap hair loss medication cheap v gel one mirapex discount prescription cheap tretinoin 0 025 dawkowanie buy revatio sydney buy viagra jelly in india cheap viagra reviews cheap nizoral 2 shampoo buspar discount coupons order calcium carbonate overdose buy capoten vietnam cheap voveran sr ingredients buy cardizem sr order cialis viagra online buy valtrex generic online order starlix mail buy cytotec yemen order synthroid side cheap pariet kokemuksia buy eurax tablets buy viagra plus nyc cheap atarax version order cialis kingdom of croatia cheap brand cialis mg buy famvir shingles buy clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide gel cheap danazol india order anti fungal additive for paint order erectile dysfunction guidelines cheap flagyl er hva order anti fungal ringworm buy cytotec dubai buy protonix vietnam buy canal walk voucher online cheap kamagra oral jelly effects cheap toprol xl beta blocker tricor discount voucher pain relief discount lower back cheap muscle relaxant jaw pain cheap calan buy 2013 agera r can you buy phenergan boots buy levitra 20 mg order skelaxin a prescription cheap viramune copay order brand amoxil bd buy capoten buy energizer lithium batteries liv 52 discount tablets benefits order glucotrol xl order premarin cream buy cyproheptadine cheap and fast order calcium carbonate chalk buy antivert for cheap buy capoten you order lexapro online shuddha guggulu discount powder sustiva discount voucher pain relief discount labour kamagra gold discount green 100mg pain relief discount herpes order calcium carbonate limestone order cialis zaire buy revatio the counter buy dapoxetine tablets buy alli in uk buy brand viagra without order flagyl er prescribing information cheap actoplus met warnings buy zyvox in usa order furosemide vegas shuddha guggulu discount wightii xenical discount kenya order synthroid india order doxycycline uk cheap keppra online cheap viagra super active vs cialis super active buy accutane eu order tadalis sx side effects cheap rental houses in myrtle beach buy nitroglycerin spray online buy deltasone dosage caverta discount cafergot discount prices buy hydrochlorothiazide generic online buy alligator meat buy amantadine vegas buy amitriptyline for dogs cheap apcalis sx wat is apcalis-sx order cialis soft fast shipping order pain relief xl order depression medication online order pilex forum order erectile dysfunction herbs buy valtrex cheap v gel dcl cheap canon lenses order blopress order septilin forum order toprol xl vs bystolic buy colchicine for gout mango fashion discount code cheap toprol xl cost cheap ceftin antibiotic diabecon discount cheap brand cialis tablets buy estrace 2mg buy viagra sublingual spray cheap ortho tri cyclen junel order singulair australia buy topical nitroglycerin buy cheap amitriptyline eldepryl discount cards benfotiamine discount voucher buy generic yasmin geriforte syrup discount himalaya buy lopid cheap risperdal a prescription order chloramphenicol eye buy lioresal vidal buy lamisil defense ortho tri cyclen lo discount card order evista you buy propecia safely online order effexor xr long term side effects buy blum minipress order clomid online uk order calcium carbonate elements isoniazid order of degradation order actoplus met xr buy tadalis sx soft 20 mg buy urispas malaysia cheap finpecia tablet order glucophage xr online buy revatio from canada cheap revatio australia cheap avodart in usa buy ortho tri cyclen uk
Home Manufacturers Mattel It Pays to Advertise
It Pays to Advertise
Written by Robert Reed   
Monday, 01 November 2004 00:00
“Sun Sensation Barbie” was a Happy Meals 1992 premium from McDonald’s. Barbie, America’s best-selling doll, is also the nation’s best-selling adver­tising doll as well, selling and promoting everything from Avon to Wal-Mart.

The Barbie advertising army is on the march, and it’s not just the endearing March of Dimes. It also extends from shoppers at Bloomingdale’s department store to the athletes of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Barbie, of course, started out as a mere fashion doll for little girls in 1959. She did not venture into the world of advertising until she was much older. But it was inevitable that eventually the masterminds at Mattel Inc. would realize that darling Barbie could not only be charming but could carry a commercial message as well. Even beyond that, they reasoned, amazing Barbie could even promote specific events and places, if necessary.

A hint of this potential came in 1964 when Sears, the nation’s leading mail-order retailer, began offering its own specially designed Barbie for $8.99. Sales went very well and two years later Sears offered still another “exclusive” Barbie. In 1972, a rival major retailer, Montgomery Ward, took things (and Barbie) yet another step further. The national chain used Barbie to mark its 100th anniversary. Basically the doll was a re-issue of a 1964 Mattel standard, but now she promoted a commercial outlet and marked a specific event.

During the middle 1970s Mattel issued what some doll historians consider to be the first true “advertising” doll. In the Gold Medal Series the fabled doll drew attention specifically to the worldwide Olympics, appearing outfitted as a skater in one issue and outfitted as a skier in another. Barbie’s boy pal Ken appeared as an Olympic skier, and her best friend, P.J., was dressed as a gymnast. During 1975 and early 1976 the Gold Medal Series and sets were big sellers for the very Barbie-friendly Sears stores.

Things changed dramatically by the 1980s. Commercially speaking, the slightly built Barbie would be ready for some heavy lifting. The outreach of Mattel to America’s leading retail stores became more and more established with each passing year. Toward the end of the decade it became clear that a new and different marketing had begun. The company released “Mardi Gras Barbie” in 1988 (another special event doll) as a major department store special to be included with the American Beauties Collection.

The following year Barbie spanned the human race with issues for UNICEF (formerly the United Nat­ion’s Children’s Emergency Fund). Saluting this special cause, Barbie appeared in Asian, Afro-American, Hispanic and Caucasian images.

Notably, 1989 also saw one of the most unique Barbie advertising dolls of all, the “Barbie Pepsi Spirit.” Sold exclusively in Toys R Us stores, here at last was an issue clearly marked with the brand name and logo of a popular worldwide product. Pepsi appeared on Barbie’s jacket, the waist of her shorts, and on her duffel bag. Mean­while Barbie’s kid sister, Skipper, appeared in a Pepsi sweatshirt with a Pepsi beach towel and Pepsi bag. In the 1990s Barbie and the gang would acquire a taste for soft drink super-rival Coca-Cola, but in the ’80s she was toasting with Pepsi all the way.

There were a few downsides to the mass marketing of “exclusive” Barbies as the 1990s arrived. For one, most of the issues still remained without any significant markings as to specific product or store. In short, they met the standard of limited edition, but largely eluded the definition of advertising. Secondly, many of the designated outlets were regional in scope thus not really available in many parts of the United States. Lastly, they were pretty well restricted to the super-rich stores, as Mattel under­standably required a minimum run of major numbers before making a deal.

Still, business was good. If the doll had done well before, this success would prove to be nothing when compared to the exploding “Barbie Boom” years of the 1990s. No longer was a Barbie exclusive doll the exception. It was the rule. One would wander the aisles of nearly all the super stores– Ames, Hills, K-Mart, Meijers (pronounced Meyer), Service Merchandise, Target and Woolworth–and find them every time.

Some stores liked them so well they ended up with a series of so-called exclusives. Distinguished retailer FAO Schwarz extended its Barbie exclusives to more than a dozen different styles, starting in 1990 with “Winter Fantasy Barbie,” which was well marked and also wore a large-sized hangtag. Barbie wore a blue velveteen gown in “Winter Fantasy” and sold for the not-so-cool price of $58. “Madison Avenue Barbie” followed with the store name on her shopping bag. “Shopping Spree Barbie” bested them both with a cap, shirt and shopping bag all well-marked with the familiar FAO Schwarz logo.

This is Barbie Collector’s Edition Doll Series II from Little Debbie, 1995.Barbie was back to doing events too. The doll was dazzling as “Ice Capades Barbie” for the 50th anniversary of the Ice Capades. Barbie appeared both as an Afro-American and Caucasian for that issue in 1990. She was back (Caucasian only) the following year. Barbie’s male friend Ken also appeared in 1990 as an Ice Capades issue. In 1992 Barbie stepped in as the “Anniversary Star” issue for a Wal-Mart celebration.

As the ’90s decade unfolded the doll would take on the additional role of promoting places. Among others, she benefited Euro Disney Weekend, Euro Disney Fun and the 25th anniversary of Disney World.

Yet it was Barbie uniting with products from tasty Oreo cookies to thundering Harley Davidson motorcycles that has had the greatest impact. For Arizona Jeans, a J.C. Penney exclusive, Barbie wore both a well-marked jacket and backpack. She was equally keen with her sweater brightly marked in the colorful Pizza Hut Series. The Pizza Hut Series also included Courtney, Kevin and Skipper. For Kraft Treasures, Ms B wore a wide-brimmed hat with a Kraft logo on it, and for Chuck E. Cheese and Showbiz Pizza, she was striking with a logo and mouse image on her tee shirt.

Sometimes the Barbie advertising doll did such a great job of promoting the product that the company involved went back for more. Kool Aid presented two Barbie ad dolls between 1992 and 1994. The first had braided hair and the second–a 35th anniversary edition–had sun-streaked hair. Little Debbie snack cakes went on to top that in the 1990s with three different Barbie issues.

Barbie used different accessories for various department stores during the decade. For GAP, for instance, it was a baseball cap; for Bloomingdale’s, Meijer and Wal-Mart, it was a shopping bag.

In 1996 Barbie re-visited the Olympics. Mattel offered the “Olympic Gymnast Barbie” to promote the Atlanta summer games. She was available as a blonde-haired, Caucasian participant, and also as the first Olympic-related, African-American Barbie doll. A third–the redheaded “Olympic Gymnast Barbie”–was exclusive with Toys R Us.

That same year the remarkable and enchanting Barbie went to work for the equally remarkable and historic Coca-Cola Company. The resulting “Soda Foun­tain Sweetheart” was stunning. Anne Parducci, the vice-president of Coca-Cola, said at the time, “Barbie and Coca-Cola are two icons of American culture. Bring­ing these two icons together with such a beautiful doll is sure to be an instant success.” It was.

“Soda Fountain Sweetheart” was patterned after a Coke print advertising campaign that began in 1907. The next Coke/Barbie effort, “Barbie After the Walk,” was just as glamorous. This time it was based on a 1916 Coke advertisement, but with a recreational focus rather than the earlier soda shop theme.

By 1998, advertising Barbie had moved on. She called attention to the March of Dimes in general and the 1998 Walk America in particular in an issue that was unique to K-Mart. She also hailed NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing) by appearing in full uniform with an accompanying working visor helmet. Barbie wore a cheer­leader outfit in the University Series. She wore still a different uniform to welcome the launching of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

Barbie has certainly been around for products like Russell Stover candies, has been decked out for places like Disney World, and has stood up for special events like the 50th anniversary of the Ice Capades. In doing so, she has instilled and solidified her special brand of magic and shared the limelight–and sales appeal– with others in the process..

Trackback(0)

TrackBack URI for this entry

Comments (0)

Subscribe to this comment's feed

Write comment

smaller | bigger

busy