in it to win it

Barbie Brand Goes Bald and Political

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 9, 2012 03:03 PM

Barbie, Mattel’s iconic model of curvaceous, blonde female beauty will very soon be bald. Next year, Barbie's world of dream houses, beauty salons and fancy cars will include chemotherapy.

A Facebook campaign titled "Beautiful and Bald Barbie" initiated by Jane Bingham, a young survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, asked Mattel to create a doll for kids who have lost their hair due to cancer or other medical reasons.

"One of the major reasons was to reduce the stigma for women and children who have hair loss — being not accepted to be able to go out in public without something covering their head, whether it be a wig or a scarf or that sort of thing," Bingham says. "Their beauty and their self-worth is not dependent upon their hair."

Mattel's initial response was cool: “Mattel doesn’t accept ideas from outside sources.” But after the campaign drew 158,000 likes and fans on social media recalled other Mattel initiatives like Tattoo Barbie, the toymaker relented, announcing the creation of the new (Friend of) Barbie doll by 2013. The toy comes accessorized with wigs, hats and scarves "to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience" said Mattel spokesman Alan Hilowitz. Continue reading...

brand bites

Brand Bites: Bar, Barbie, Beyonce, Benetton, and more

Posted by Abe Sauer on April 6, 2012 11:44 AM

Kicking off this week's Brand Bites, model Bar Refaeli's new under.me lingerie line campaign channels an iconic cheeky tennis poster.

PETA take note: the Sierra Club's new "Coal Will Say Anything" campaign shows how it's done.Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

Band-Aid's New Logo No Band-Aid Solution

Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 29, 2012 01:03 PM

Johnson & Johnson’s Band-Aids have been around since 1920 and it feels like its logo has been around even longer. But now the iconic brand owned by Johnson & Johnson is changing its look a wee bit, something that hasn’t happened since the ‘80s.

There’s a new logo coming soon to a scraped knee near you. It's designed by Kevin Dresser of the New York design firm Dresser Johnson. The challenge: Since the iconic Band-Aid logo has been around for so long, the hope with the redesign is to show that the adhesive bandage has “a new direction that represented the future of the brand.” So Dresser created “a bolder, more distinctive look that better stands out on drugstore shelves,” J&J's press release notes.

"My goal for the logo restoration was to create a timeless design," stated Dresser. "Band-Aid is an iconic American brand. I wanted to honor that heritage and at the same time create something that feels contemporary and modern."Continue reading...

kiddie brands

Lego Hits Brick Wall With Lego Friends for Girls

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 22, 2012 10:17 AM

For generations, Lego has been considered a pretty unisex toy. You could build anything with those colorful little plastic blocks, but that was before big-time partnerships and licensing ever became truly part of the marketing equation.

When you walk into a toy store and look at the Lego shelves, it’s not too hard to find Lego products aligned with things that are traditionally marketed to boys, and lately they've been co-branded: Lego Harry Pottery, Lego Star Wars, Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Alien Conquest, etc. The strategy helped Lego engineer a massive brand turnaround, making about $1 billion last year in the U.S. alone. The next step, naturally? Creating Lego lines aimed at girls.

Having dipped a toe in the water with pink boxes containing brightly colored bricks and flowers, Lego went all out with the launch of Lego Friends, a line expressly targeted to girls, that launched in December. Not everyone, however, is convinced that gender-specific Lego is the way to go.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: J&J, Vita, Linsanity & more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2012 09:02 AM

In the News

Anheuser-Busch InBev considers bid for European brewer StarBev.

Apple defends rights to iPad name in Shanghai court.

Barnes & Noble sees profits crimped by digital investments.

Carbonite encourages planning for loss.

Comcast takes aim at Netflix.

Ford boosts pay for directors by 25 percent.

General Mills and Kraft promise to hold line on marketing spending in tough environment.Continue reading...

kiddie brands

Toy Fair Morphs Into CES for Kids as Tablets, Apps Take Spotlight

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 15, 2012 12:04 PM

Today is the final day of the Toy Industry Association's 109th annual Toy Fair, wrapping up in New York with a power surge of touchscreens, apps and other tech-based entertainment (or edutainment) items designed to engage young minds — and open their elders' wallets. At a time when toy sales have been stagnant for the past several years, major toymakers and upstarts alike were banking on the whiz bang of tablets, interactivity, and apps to lift the industry from its doldrums.

This year's Toy of the Year at the fair is symbolic of the direction the industry is taking: LeapFrog's LeapPad Explorer Tablet, a $99 kid's version of a computer tablet introduced last February that was so popular retailers couldn't keep it in stock during the 2011 holiday selling season. LeapPad also won "Educational Toy of the Year" and "Preschool Toy of the Year."

The two leading toymakers, Hasbro and Mattel, both debuted app-related products at the Toy Fair. Hasbro updated its clasic board game, "The Game of Life," by promoting a version ("The Game of Life zAPPed," which is available now for $25) that resides on an iPad — literally. Download the app, place your iPad on the middle of the board and it serves as the "spinner" as swell as adding interactive games and videos to the fun.

Mattel's big entry into app-land is "Apptivity," a whole new toy line that turns the iPad into a live board game, by integrating such popular toys as Barbie dolls and Hot Wheel cars with tablet-based games. A child can race one of the new Hot Wheel cars on the screen of an iPad, or use Apptivity to enhance Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds game play.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Corona, Mattel, PepsiCo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on February 9, 2012 09:04 AM

In the News

Apple tightens up on apps again, frustrating developers.

Blip.tv gets fresh funding, drops .tv from brand name.

Chrysler CMO personally approached Clint Eastwood about Super Bowl ad just as he did Eminem a year ago.

Corona supports cancer research with promo.

Google nears launch of cloud-storage service.

Groupon reports net loss in first quarterly filing after IPO.

Honda aims to reclaim its luster.

Mattel launches new global campaign for Barbie.Continue reading...

fashion week

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Brings Fall 2012 Inspiration to the World

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 8, 2012 07:01 PM

New York Giants Super Bowl champion Victor Cruz cut the ribbon today in a kick-off event for New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, now gearing up to debut Fall 2012 collections starting Thursday morning at Lincoln Center.

There's also a whirlwind of virtual activity in what the HighLow blog calls "the most egalitarian" New York Fashion Week yet, including a Facebook invitation to RSVP to live-streams of the runway shows and join the conversation on Twitter via the #liverunway hashtag.

YouTube and Maybelline will once again sponsor a real-time YouTube channel that will bring 30 of the Fall 2012 runway shows to the world. The runway videos will also be archived at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week YouTube channel.

Cover Girl is partnering with Polyvore and the Fashion Institute of Technology on Polyvore.com/Live, which will see four FIT grads debut their collections to an audience of fashion insiders and bloggers: Lauren Bagliore, Vengsarkar “Ven” Budhu, Sergio Guadarrama, and Dana-Maxx Pomerantz.Continue reading...

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