Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tattoo Barbie - Mattel's Clever Marketing Ploy

Mattel’s latest Barbie doll sports pink here, a trendy outfit and has tattoos across her left arm, neck and chest. This limited edition Barbie is the result of a cooperation between Mattel and Italy-based brand Tokidoki. The doll is marketed as a collector’s item for adults and sells for $50. This pink-haired, tattooed Barbie wears black T-shirt with heart and crossed bones, leopard print leggings and a dog called ‘Bastardino’. Supposedly, this has invited the wrath of parents across the U.S, and was debated on the O’Reilly Factor.

There is some understandable skepticism if the so-called outrage of concerned parent is real, or a clever marketing ploy by Mattel.

The Daily Mail did some digging and found a number of obscure websites for “tweenage” girls where people had a negative opinion of Barbie’s tattoos.

However, the majority of the experts that normally pipe up were silent. Quite likely, they just don’t see it as a big deal.

It’s not the first time that our Barbie got tattoos. In 1999, Butterfly Art Barbie was withdrawn from stores after parents complained. In 2009, the company released Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie, a doll with removable sticker tattoos.

But it seems that in 2011, nobody seriously cares about a doll with tattoos. That leaves us with an interesting marketing question: did Mattel create artificial controversy to sell its latest Barbie? Knowing Mattel – quite likely! As usual, Mattel is laughing all the way to the bank. The doll is already sold out......

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