Barbie and the Nostalgia Appeal

I’ll admit I fall right in line with the Barbie demographics. All my friends have seen the movie, and I will as soon as I can find the time. Women my age were obsessed with barbies as young girls. We’re the pre-social media, pre-American girl doll, pre video game crowd. We had our imaginations, and if we were very lucky, a Barbie dream house (complete with water slide, a pool for you and your pet, a grill, and any other thing they could think to sell us).. Every birthday and Christmas, that was the gift. From her darling outfits, to a car, to a boyfriend, Barbie seemed to have it all. Only as we aged did we start to wonder if it was quite healthy to have a role model with such odd and unattainable proportions. (Turns out if Barbie was a real woman, she would fall under the anorexic category – yikes!) And maybe it wasn’t enough for young girls to want to dress cute and follow Ken around. But Mattel listened, if only somewhat. All the sudden, Barbie had careers! She was a vet, a doctor, a teacher! (Though let’s try to forget when they had her talk, and she notoriously told girls “Math is hard. Shopping is fun!”- Not their finest moment). Most of us still bought them for our own daughters, along with handing down the treasures we had saved. While they didn’t have quite the allure of American Girl, or of course, electronic devices, Barbie still held and holds a place in our hearts and our homes. So it’s no small wonder that we women and young girls are flocking to the movie (and plenty of men, too!). And we’re dressing in her signature pink color, and we’re reliving our childhood. And in fact, we’re making Warner Brothers over $162 million dollars in their first opening weekend, surprising them and plenty of analysts And that excitement and buzz about Barbie has helped her creators as well. As Investopedia reported, “Acknowledging the lasting impact the Barbie movie could have on the company and the value of its intellectual property, Kreiz said the moment “will be remembered as a key milestone in our company’s history with the release of the Barbie movie, our first-ever major theatrical film.”.But we’re also hoping, that like us, and the times, that Barbie has changed. It’s no longer her (or ours) primary job to look pretty for Ken and run the household and children. Many of us need to do those things still, yes, but we also need to work a full time job. And we need to do all those things without breaking a sweat. Or so at least society would have us believe. Most friends I know who watched the movie, said it made them cry. Many spoke of their daughters being in awe of how much work we had to do and how far we have come. Which tells me that Barbie has once again figured out how to reach us as women. How to captivate and inspire us. Which means, for them, they have figured out how to reach into not just our hearts but our wallets as well. What can this mean for your business? Lot of things. First, if you have an established brand (with a good reputation), make sure you are reminding people of your longevity and playing to their nostalgia. But second, make sure you are always evolving. Before this movie, sales at Mattel were down pretty sharply, including in the Barbie category. Just because something used to sell like gangbusters, doesn’t mean it will forever. And third, and lastly, make sure you have an advertising partner who can help you find your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. Like Miller Ad Agency. Call us today at 972-243-2211.