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Friday, June 17, 2011

If She's So Popular ...

The title of this blog comes from a pun: "If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy all her friends?"

I had zero interest in Barbie as a kid. I liked to read and "play pretend." I don't remember my childhood friends taking much of an interest in Barbie either. We were unusual, though, because Barbie is EVERYWHERE. Barbie has a dream house and a boyfriend. Barbie has a kid sister (but no parents, so apparently they sprung up from the ground). Barbie has a Token Black Friend. (When I graduated from high school, one of my relatives gave me a black Barbie, complete with cap, gown, and diploma, as a gag gift. Ha ha?) Barbie has a car. Changing careers for Barbie is as easy as changing outfits. Barbie has been re-created in "real life" countless times. A former teacher of mine wouldn't let her daughter play with Barbie because Barbie was anti-feminist. Barbie is, in short, one of the world's most recognized brands.

As a marketer and avid media consumer, I often think about what makes brands successful. Brands are built. They have personalities that change and grow with their consumers. At the core, brands are vying for your friendship. Barbie works because she's been around for so long - she's changed with the times, somewhat, but those proportions are still the same - she's immediately recognizable.

This blog will take a look at ads and brands that work or don't, and why, and how media helps make or break brands and campaigns. I will probably make fun of a lot of stuff. Most of the time, I kid because I love. Most of the time. Some stuff is just wack. We'll get there, trust.

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