Many of the celebrities and personalities marketed to young girls are also young, ranging from pre-teen to early 20s. Some find it difficult to make the transition from teen idol to adult while maintaining popularity. However there is a certain 52-year old who is as beloved today as when she was 16…Barbie.
The Mattel Corporation has achieved great success over the years with its 11.5” blonde bombshell, but not without a few strategic maneuvers. From policewoman to astronaut, rock star to veterinarian and everything in between, Barbie has shown girls everywhere that their futures are possible as long as they dream big.
A recent campaign from Mattel is revamping part of the Barbie franchise, but this time focuses on Barbie’s long-time love interest, Ken. In honor of Ken’s 50th birthday this year, Mattel has enlisted the help of Hud:Sun Media, creating a reality series called “Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend.” The web episodes chronicle the adventures of 8 contestants, each vying for the prize of having the newly designed Ken doll modeled after his face.
By tying the “Genuine Ken” series to Facebook and Twitter, Mattel has generated quite a buzz around the Ken’s golden birthday. Stephanie Cota, senior vice president for worldwide marketing, Mattel girls’ brands said [the show] is a great way for grownup girls…to stay connected to the brand.” These are the same grownup girls with disposable income who either purchase Barbie products for their children, nieces and friends’ children or as a collectible for themselves, so giving them a way to stay connected is a smart move on the part of Mattel.