Tuesday, January 27, 2015
How do you refresh an icon gone stale? That's the challenge facing Mattel whose Barbie doll cash generator is no longer the ideal play toy for young girls. The company had relied so long on the once best-selling toy that it has trouble migrating to new toy lines. The CEO has just resigned and there is no guarantee a new occupant of the chair will divine what little girls want. There isn't much a PR practitioner can do in a situation like this. Barbie needs something to make the doll relevant again to young girls and a PR campaign is unlikely to generate the buzz needed. It is interesting that Disney stole a march on Barbie with its Frozen movie and line of merchandise. It thrust a franchise that was beginning to fade into also-ran. Was Mattel ready for that? Perhaps it should have been, but after so many years of success, who would have thought a crisis would come so quickly?