As Bratz Threat Fades, Sun Rises Afresh on Barbie
And who's she going after? Mom.
In its latest "Wanna Play?" ad, Mattel shelves hot pink outfits and snazzy accessories in favor of mothers -- colored by neutral almond light, flanked by nostalgic music -- reminiscing about their first Barbies as their spawn brandish new ones at their feet. The piece ends with a small, excited voice shouting, "Hey mommy! Wanna play Barbie?"
By now you've probably heard that Bratz -- Barbie's slutty, slummin' store-aisle rival -- lost a major legal battle with Mattel. The latter now owns the rights to the Bratz label and, if it so chooses, can have the dolls pulled out of stores.
One of the biggest problems with Bratz was how it alienated mothers. Some parents even banned the dolls from their homes, making Christmas -- a time when eager kids unwrap dolls bought by well-meaning, but childless, relatives -- an exceptionally awkward holiday.
Objectification a la Barbie was tame compared to these juicy-lipped, slit-skirt and hyper-glossy counterparts, so the Dismayed Mom Vote has always been Mattel's biggest marketing trump card. Glad it finally decided to rally those emotions.