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"Marketing is Hard..."

I was reading the paper yesterday, which I prefer to do with an actual paper in front of me. I read differently when the pages are spread out on the kitchen island or propped up against a cookie tin or held wide between me and the rest of the room. I read more articles, at least in part, than I do when it’s a question of clicking on the various links. I’m a browser, not a person who likes browsers, I guess.

Anyway, because I was browsing through the paper, I read an article that really pissed me off. Because everyone should also be annoyed, I attempted to find the link, but it doesn't exist, so maybe the whole thing is in my head. To summarize: Barbie sales are dropping, so clearly the solution is to make her more about fashion, to pitch her toward slightly older girls so the little girls want what the big girls have, and to unify her logo and color scheme. Argh. Toys and marketing together make me want to vomit or shake someone in a suit. Maybe vomit on someone in a suit. That would work.

I have nothing new to add to the debate about Barbie and her appropriateness for children. I agree with her statement: Math is hard. T.R. totally understood the purpose of Barbie as a toddler, in that he took off all her clothes, played with her for five minutes, and discarded her forever. Barbie is not a problem in our house.

But marketing, I hate marketing. I want enough things without being told to want more. My brain is already full of voices telling me what I should do. I’m pretty sure that a voice that wants me to buy more and more things is not speaking in my best interest. And I, despite some evidence to the contrary (God bless Opal, who says we can build a clubhouse in my backyard and when we go in there, no grown-ups can come…), I am an adult.

The good news: Barbie still comes in a box and as long as boxes exist, toy marketers will have an uphill battle for the attention of children.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
The good news: Barbie still comes in a box and as long as boxes exist, toy marketers will have an uphill battle for the attention of children.

Well, actually, I spent a good fifteen minutes on Christmas prying a Barbie off its scaffolding of cardboard, tape, elastic bands, plastic forms, and twist-ties. A box would have been much better.

We haven't had a Barbie in our home heretofore. I'm not too sad about this Barbie, because she's only there to showcase the real gift: a handmade wardrobe of nearly 100 pieces--bathing suits, tops, shorts, pants, dresses, coats, and some really spectacular multipiece outfits. I'm not sure where the gift-giver acquired this treasure trove, but it has earned the awe and fascination of females from 8 to 88 (and some males too).
Dec. 29th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
So much for that theory...
Oh well. Legos come in boxes. Yesterday when T. needed a break from building Lego sets, he went out onto the back porch and spent about an hour kicking the boxes around. He came back inside, out of breath, and said, "Who knew kicking boxes could be so fun?"

The Barbie wardrobe sounds AWESOME! I didn't learn to sew until I was a grownup, but I loved to pin together outfits for Barbie when I was a kid. Hope your sweet girl has tons of fun!
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 29th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
At least
with Bratz you KNOW you're dealing with a wacked-out body type. Barbie looks just enough like reality that her fantasy body becomes, to some extent, an ideal. No one wants to end up with a giant Bratz head...

Actually, Mattel now owns one of the best doll lines: American Girl. I liked them better before Mattel bought them, but they offer the kind of "stuff" I loved as a little girl with plenty of scope for imaginative play. That they have books, too, makes for extra bonus points.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 29th, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
Math may be easy for some (brilliant) people like yourself, but seriously, for me, calculus was a total waste of time, unless it miraculously built some character or something. I have reached a point where I actually think math is cool and interesting and occasionally enjoy stumbling along in the wake of someone explaining something mathy, which is progress from when I viewed it simply as torture, but I have enough self-knowledge to know that I'm just not going to be good at it.

Which is entirely separate from the issue of whether Barbie should be telling millions of girls that math is hard (probably not, even if it is true, but better than if she told them that getting pregnant is hard or something...).

Marketing, easy or hard, seems pretty much evil. I'm okay with sales: how else do you let people know about your extra special widgets? But marketing freaks the heck out of me. So, no, thanks, you go ahead with that marketing plan without me. I can't afford the bad karma.

xoxo js
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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