Posts Tagged ‘Mattel’

The bald, and the beautiful? Barbie could get a buzz cut …

January 30, 2012

Punch line: This is a classic story of the intersection of consumer driven insights, a strong cause, and the power of social media. 

Two mothers, whose daughters lost their hair due to cancer treatment, contacted Mattel to create a bald Barbie to serve as a role model for young children. 

After this initial request failed to gain traction with Mattel,  these mothers used the ultimate weapon – the F-bomb.  Facebook.  They created a fan page called ‘Beautiful and Bald Barbie’ and generated over 137,000 ‘likes.’ 

Now, Mattel is more actively addressing this idea.

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Excerpted from brandchannel.com “Mattel Doesn’t Say No to Bald Barbie

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Back in December, two moms whose daughters had lost their hair due to cancer treatment contacted Mattel, the makers of Barbie, to see if the company would be interested in producing a bald Barbie as a role model to their own and other young girls.

Mattel sent Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin a stock letter saying that it “does not take unsolicited ideas from outside sources.”

Undeterred, the women put up a Facebook fan page entitled “Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made,” and it duly received more than 137,000 “likes.” As a result, Brand Republic reports that Mattel is now addressing the issue more directly.

“We are honored that Jane Bingham and Beckie Sypin believe that Barbie could be the face of such an important cause,” a spokesperson said, according to the site. “Mattel appreciates and respects the passion that has been built up for the request for a bald Barbie doll.”

Mattel isn’t committing to get a hairless Barbie onto production lines….

“The obvious thing to do would be to release a limited edition bald Barbie with a percentage of the proceeds going to charity,” said Robin Grant, managing director at the social-media agency We are Social. “Some companies have a fear of being seen to bow to consumer pressure – but corporate marketing teams must guard against being unchanging and monolithic.”

Edit by KJM

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Nike tells Marty McFly: “Just do it !”

December 5, 2011

TakeAway: With a special-edition “Back to the Future” shoe, Nike helps to fundraise $9.4M for Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson Foundation.

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Excerpted from brandchannel.com, “Nike ‘Back to the Future’ Shoes Raise $9.4 Million for Michael J. Fox Foundation

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When 1985’s Back to the Future blew the doors off of the box office – eventually generating $303.87 billion – two sequels were automatically set into motion and released in 1989 and 1990. And somewhere in there, someone got fully turned onto the joy of product placement.

Back to the Future II was particularly chockfull of brand names, including Black and Decker, Pepsi, Texaco, Mattel, Pizza Hut,  The Weather Channel, 7-Eleven, and AT&T, among others. But fans salivated most over the special shoe that Nike designer Tinker Hatfield created for the film, the Nike MAG shoe, with its glowing LED panel and an electroluminescent “Nike” for Michael J. Fox to wear as the film’s hero, Marty McFly.

Sneaker aficionados had been begging the company for years to release the same shoe to the mainstream. So in a highly-publicized eBay auction in September, Nike made only 1,500 to auction off on eBay to raise cash for Michael J. Fox’s Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The result was $4.7 million from consumers, which a matching initiative doubled to $9.4 million.

“The enthusiasm this project ignited, and the funds and awareness the shoes generated for Parkinson’s research, are both humbling and inspiring,” Fox. “Our Foundation is truly grateful to Nike for this unique partnership that brought Back to the Future fans, sneakerheads and the PD community together in the quest to eradicate Parkinson’s from the space-time continuum.”

The first pair went to British rapper and “avid sneaker collector” Tinie Tempah, who shelled out $37,500 for the honor at a celeb auction in Los Angeles.

If you missed out and are looking to pick up some Back to the Future memorabilia while helping out Fox’s Foundation, you’re in luck. Technabob reports that auction house Profiles in History will sell off more than 100 items from the films in L.A. between Dec. 15 and Dec. 18. Part of the proceeds will go to the Foundation.

Some of the gear set to be auctioned off includes some futuristic Pepsi and Slice cans, Marty’s Mattel Hoverboard, the case from the Nike self-lacing shoes, and, yes, one of the seven awesome DeLoreans used during the filming. It would make an unforgettable holiday gift, don’t you think?

Edit by KJM.

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