Stephanie Cota, SVP Global Marketing, Barbie, Girls and Games at Mattel, explains that the Barbie brand’s DNA is fashion, aspiration and cultural relevance. Cota and her team strive to deliver on these brand tenets every year through a variety of activation points. We asked Cota to comment on this year’s highlights for the brand as well as what’s ahead.
Brandon Gutman: What were the key milestones for the Barbie brand in 2012?
Stephanie Cota: 2012 marks the introduction of Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse – Barbie’s first digital animated reality web series. Barbie Life In the Dreamhouse delivers cultural relevance in a new, fresh way sharing stories about Barbie, her friends and the breakout star, the Dreamhouse itself. The show is enjoying over 100 million views and is in its second season.
We were also pleased to announce Barbie’s candidacy for President this year, which continues to underscore her aspirational career choices. With over 130 careers under her belt, Barbie for President and her “B” Party platform reinforce the importance of being inspired, being informed and being involved.
We remain committed and strong in our social media channels enjoying 5.5 million fans on Facebook and 138,000+ followers on Twitter. Also of the moment and on trend, we recently added Tumblr, Instagram and Pinterest to stay engaged and connected to our brand fans.
With the holidays upon us, what’s new that we’re about to see?
This holiday season we seamlessly combined fashion and technology with the Barbie Photo Fashion doll. Girls can take a photo and the images are then instantly displayed on Barbie’s LCD t-shirt. This allows girls to do what they love most- capture, create and customize. Initial results are exceeding our expectations and the doll has already made her way to the top of Oppenheim’s Toy Portfolio, Parenting Magazine’s “Best in Play”, Time to Play’s “Most Wanted Toys of 2012″ and many retailer top toy lists.
Tell us about the Barbie themed Royal Caribbean cruises that are kicking off in January and how they are being marketed.
Today, brands are looking to connect with kids and families everywhere they are from the playroom to the playground, the computer to the time in the car. Vacation time is a natural and immersive way to create new experiences for the whole family. The Barbie Premium Experience, only on Royal Caribbean, aboard any one of the cruise line’s global fleet of 22 ships not only brings Barbie’s sense of style to the high seas but it also connects girls together in shared activities they’ll remember for a lifetime.
Mattel and Royal Caribbean are committed to making the Barbie Premium Experience an exciting and rewarding adventure for families and fans. We will both be leveraging our unique channels – be it a mass retailer or travel agency association – to bring awareness to and drive purchase of the complete Barbie package.
How are you executing so many channels while maintaining the brand’s essence?
Globally, the Barbie brand speaks with one voice, has one vision and one signature style. Locally, the teams execute against this voice taking local market needs into considerations. We balance profit with a sense of creating deep, rich experience for girls and brand fans.
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