Posted by Dale Buss on February 12, 2014 04:04 PM
In a brand collaboration that could be described as the "Anti-Dove" campaign, Barbie and Sports Illustrated are getting together to celebrate the 50th anniversary edition of the magazine's swimsuit issue. And not surprisingly, social media has been atwitter over the implications.
The half-century edition of Sports Illlustrated's biggest issue of each year will hit newsstands and the internet next week, and it presents Barbie as a doll-size version of some of the magazine's supermodels, clad in a new version of the black-and-white swimsuit the Mattel doll wore when she was introduced in 1959.
It's a surprising partnership, to be sure, starting with the the fact that Barbie is aimed (mostly) at girls and Sports Illustrated is aimed (mostly) at men, which raises uncomfortable questions about why they're getting together. (Yes, Barbie is for adult collectors, too—that's why there will be a limited edition Sports Illustrated Barbie at Target).
The co-branded special issue is launching with a campaign called "Unapologetic", as both brands' owners clearly anticipated the hullaballoo that would ensue when two icons of hyperphotogenic femininity got together to get even more in the faces of their long-time foes.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on February 6, 2014 02:54 PM
"The first step to recover from your brickdiction is to admit you are powerless over bricks." That's the opening sentence from the book Brickdiction: A Seven Step Recovery Guide for People Addicted to LEGO®
Of course the irony about the book Brickdiction is that it's just a gag gift for that Lego lover you know, another brick in the expanding Legonomy that is about to go to a brand new level with Friday's release of The Lego Movie. With a staggering 98 percent "fresh" rating so far on film rating site Rotten Tomatoes, The Lego Movie is winning praise from critics across the board. (The one stick-in-the-mud is the NY Post.) The movie is so successful, in fact, that a sequel is already being built before the film's official release date.
With brands falling over each other to get a piece of the Legonomy, the question is not if The Lego Movie will be a success for the Lego franchise but how much of a success.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 22, 2014 08:14 PM
In the three decades that Transformer toys have been on the market, they've inspired three big-budget Hollywood blockbusters and inspired hundreds of merchandising endeavors.
But the toys as they were orginally imagined—the ones that actually transformed from a vehicle to a robot with a few simple moves—aren’t around anymore. The transformation process, it seems, is now extremely complicated. Some may disagree, but the instruction booklets for today’s Transformers are much more involved than when it was first released.
So Hasbro CEO Brian D. Goldner has decided to restore the toy back to its simpler days in honor of its 30th anniversary.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 21, 2014 03:46 PM
Last year, the marketing and advertising industry went nutty over Metro Trains Melbourne's "Dumb Ways to Die" cross-platform campaign by McCann Australia. The public safety campaign, which went viral thanks to a catchy song for its PSA ads, online game and addictive mobile app, took home top honors at Cannes Lions and continue to collect accolades, have now inspired a curious new line of products.
Melbourne Metro has announced it's keeping the love going with a line of plush merchandise that is based on the characters in the campaign, and will be sure to appeal to kids of all ages in the same way that Uglydolls became a staple of dormitory rooms worldwide.
"We never set out for this to be a goal and it certainly didn't factor into anything around determining the creative," Metro General Manager-Corporate Relations Leah Waymark told Ad Age. "But countless people asked, 'Where can I get the t-shirt?' We had a lot of people who produce items approach us, from t-shirt makers to toy makers, to people who wanted to produce TV shows. But we narrowed it to what we thought would be most important, and that's the brand integrity."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 22, 2013 06:12 PM
The founder of Goldie Blox may be writing a dream script for a startup, one that already includes an idea with traction, a madly viral video, and high-profile nod in the New York Times—and an effort that could very well culminate in a Super Bowl commercial on February 2.
One of the videos that Goldie Blox has posted on its YouTube channel since its inception two years ago has gotten skyrocketing views, over 7 million so far, according to MarketingDaily.com. It shows young girls in stereotypical pink princess outfits suddenly breaking out of character to grab a tool kit, goggles and hard hats, constructing things with Goldie Blox building-block toys.
"Girls to build the spaceship / Girls to code the new app / Girls to grow up knowing / They can engineer that," the video hums, adapting an old Beastie Boys song. "It's OK to be a princess," Goldie Blox Founder and CEO Debbie Sterling, a Stanford University mechanical-engineering graduate, told the New York Times. "We just think girls can build their own castles too."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 8, 2013 06:38 PM
Barbie apparently wasn't much of a success in China when the famous doll's focus was all manicures, makeup and party dresses. The company's six-story store in Shanghai closed its doors in 2011, and since, Mattel has been hard at work creating a Barbie more suitable for the Asian culture—one focused instead on education.
"Joy and learning are like oil and water in China," said Peter Broegger, Mattel's Asia Pacific senior vice president, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. So Mattel is trying to emphasize the learning part of Barbie’s life, releasing such dolls as Violin Barbie, while simultaneously trying to get the government to encourage more play from the children of its nation. "If they allow for more play, half of our marketing is done," Broegger told the Journal. Violin Barbie may be completely disproportionate in her body but she apparently can play a mean Tchaikovsky.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 22, 2013 06:39 PM
It's D-Days—Decision Days—for many American parents as they seek to get their holiday shopping done for their kids before the crunch of school programs, seasonal festivities and general mayhem ensues.
And sure enough, Fisher-Price, Toys R Us, Amazon and other brands are showing up with timely messages about how eager they are to help. They're all the more interested to make hay early in the season because the forecast for Christmas spending this year is cloudy at best.
Fisher-Price this season is targeting Millennial moms of kids up to ages five years old and, to accommodate the greater digital sensibilities of this generation, the Mattel-owned brand has boosted its digital-media spend by 50 percent.
"We know we need to reach her in this digital space," Lisa McKnight, Mattel's senior vice president of marketing for North America, told Advertising Age. "They want to make informed decisions when they make their purchases."Continue reading...
games people play
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 11, 2013 03:49 PM
Hasbro’s Monopoly board game has partnered with dozens of cities and organizations over the years to create unique editions of the board game. From the Boy Scouts of America and American Idol to the Boston Red Sox and Teaneck Township, New Jersey, the Monopoly brand has gone out of its way to find large, passionate niche audiences that might be interested in throwing around a little fake money.
But the game's latest edition, Monopoly Empire, puts millions of dollars worth of buying power in the hands of players in the form of major brands, including Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Chevrolet. Bearing the tagline "Own the world's top brands," it features 22 brands in total, and even adjusts the game's purpose to fit the big-brand model. Instead of racking up real estate on Park Place, players instead work on covering their Times Square-like billboards with brand logos. The first to do so wins.Continue reading...