Online campaign influences Mattel to produce bald Barbie for cancer-stricken youth.

Brogan & Partners 04/04/12 - 2:06 pm

The evolution of the Barbie Doll has been drastic since it first hit the children’s toy scene in the late 1950s. Since its launch, Barbie has had to combat multiple lawsuits and negative press about the unrealistic body image the dolls could be inflicting on young girls. Even with these public relations issues, the doll is one of the most successfully marketed children’s toys in history with hugely successful campaigns like its 50th Birthday in New York Fashion Week and the viral Ken and Barbie break-up social media campaign that had the whole world waiting for them to be reunited. Barbie was even listed as one of Time Magazine’s 100 All-Time Greatest Toys.

Mattel and Barbie are now taking another step forward in strategic marketing and more importantly, in promoting a positive self-image for children who need it most. Mattel announced  on March 27th on their Facebook page that in 2013 they will be producing a bald friend of Barbie. This announcement comes off the heels of a parent-organized campaign on Facebook and to produce such a doll to help young girls cope with their loss of hair from cancer treatments or other diseases, which some doctors have said can be just as traumatic as the diagnosis itself.

Bald and Beautiful Facebook Page

With over 157,000 fans on Facebook this campaign caused quite the stir and eventually caught the attention of Mattel executives. An excerpt from their announcement states, “Play is vital for children, especially during difficult times. We are pleased to share with our community that next year we will be producing a fashion doll, that will be a friend of Barbie, which will include wigs, hats, scarves and other fashion accessories to provide girls with a traditional fashion play experience.”

These dolls will not be available in stores, but with Mattel’s partnership with the Children’s Hospital Association they will be given directly to those girls who are most effected by hair loss. Although Mattel will not be directly profiting from these dolls,  as a marketer I can imagine the positive press Mattel will receive and the huge impact this will have on Barbie’s, sometimes debatable, image.

As a company who has been directly affected by cancer and works to raise money for cancer treatment efforts, we hope these iconic dolls can boost the confidence and brighten the attitudes of the brave young girls fighting this fight.


Blog Category: Branding Cause Marketing

Why Brogan?

We are true partners. With a proven track record of delivering strategic marketing expertise, award-winning creative and real-time, data-driven media, we go above and beyond for our clients to get results. We even guarantee you’ll be delighted.