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Barbie as a global phenomenon - Essay Example

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There is no person in the world who grew up without toys. Toys reflect the life and behavior of this or that society. Producing toys, the society takes care of children and makes them full-fledged members. …
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Barbie as a global phenomenon
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Download file to see previous pages Doll Barbie is among them. If to ask a girl what present she would like to have for her birthday, she would not hesitate even for a second and the answer will be “A Barbie”. “Barbie is the cultural icon of female beauty that provides an “aspirational role model” for young girls, and 99% of 3- to 10-year-olds in the United States own at least one Barbie doll” (Helga et al 283). The question is why this doll is so popular. How did it enrapture the whole world and become a dream of every girl? More than 100 Barbie dolls are sold in the world every minute, thus Mattel Inc. makes around $2 billion annually and the sales of a famous and desired doll constitutes more than a half of Mattel’s sales. “Barbie is the best-selling fashion doll in every major global market, with worldwide annual sales of about $1.5 billion” (Mattel, 2003 cited in Helga et al 283). The activity of the company seems successful, but now the managers consider the issue how the changes in the world influence Barbie doll. The problem became relevant because of the changes brought by globalization that eliminated patterns. The image of Barbie doll demands changes. The given paper will discuss the changes brought by the globalization and the problems Barbie doll manufacturers have to solve now. Notwithstanding that Barbie does not loose its popularity, time still flies and everything changes. The doll was created in 1959 and the women of that time were very different in comparison to modern women. Now women are emancipated, their life is very active. As women change, dolls should also change. Mattel was too late to realize that the changes were necessary, thus they suffered a failure in 2001, when their competitors launched the product appropriate to the modern understanding of a perfect woman. As the competitors managed to make necessary changes in contrast to Mattel, the latter still suffers from this mistake. The company did not think about the changes as they considered the doll to be absolutely perfect and was sure that any changes are not needed. Moreover, the manufacturers were afraid that consumers may not have accepted the changes in their favorite doll image. Thus, they did not touch Barbie doll and paid their attention to other toys. This brought a lot of harm that was realized by the manufacturers too late. They understood their mistake only by 2006, when their sales decreased by 30%, notwithstanding that the efforts were taken at once to change the look of the doll and her boyfriend, clothes, accessories. In order to save the situation, they even created a new line called “My scene”, but this imitation did not impress consumers much. The cause of the failure is the lack of appropriate long-term strategy as well as corresponding analysis of the brand and world changes, which affect Barbie’s image. Globalization brought many new changes, it changed the perception of the issues greatly. Many international organizations appeared at the global market that provided people with new opportunities to work abroad, travel, see new country, meet new people and show their abilities. In the past immigration was not so active and people lived and worked in their native countries among the people of their own nation. Now it is not surprising if people from different countries work in a one company sharing their values, culture and experience. Such changes made the world more democratic and influenced all the areas, including the field of toys manufacturing. Barbie doll always served as a pattern that caused many problems: “my main personal problem is Barbie’s body, and what that does for girls’ understanding of how their bodies are supposed to look. So many young girls and women ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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