For years both Barbie and Sports Illustrated have faced scrutiny for their depiction of women. Barbie by Mattel has been blamed for the unrealistic depiction of what women ought to look like, and Sports Illustrated has been blamed for portraying women in a demeaning, objectifying manner. Now, both of these major companies are teaming up to show that they are completely unapologetic (which is the title of their campaign).
For decades Barbie has been the #1 toy in the industry, however; as of recent her sales have declined. With Mattel teaming up with Sports Illustrated the marketing team is hoping to boost Barbie’s image and increase sales. In this latest issue, Barbie will be seen along side big name super models such as Christie Brinkely showing off what she is absolutely “unapologetic” for.
The big question here though is: Will this add a more positive effect on Barbie’s image? or will it simply add to the already existing negative ideas?
Barbie, all in all is a toy with a target market of young girls. Sports Illustrated is a sports magazine with a target market of adult men and/or women which uses sex appeal to sell issues. I do believe that no attention is bad attention if you are trying to draw attention to a brand or person; but if Mattel is trying to boost Barbie’s image, and sale in a positive way, I am not quite sure this is the best way to go about it.
Mother’s tend to be very opinionated and unsparing when it comes to things that may negatively affect their children. If Barbie now takes on the role of having sex appeal, and being “Unapologetic” for being unnaturally…flawless; will mother’s take to this? or will it only hurt them?
The marketing and branding team at Mattel have a big picture and have already started a major campaign. How much has been spent on this campaign is unknown, but we can only imagine it must be a lot. How things will turn out is unknown and we will simply just have to wait and see.