It is a doll – a magical doll. That doll has been sold for more than two billion to date. This is the most successful product of the toy industry. This doll means one of the favorite toys of children and especially girls – Barbie Doll. Ruth Handler invented this Barbie. She made an adult doll and made it an image of an American girl.
The story of Barbie’s invention is as exciting as the doll itself. One day Ruth saw her daughter Barbara playing with a doll. This gave Ruth the unique idea of making an adult-looking doll that had a perfect figure. Handler knew that girls always desired to learn how they would look when they grew up. Ruth made the doll and named it ‘Barbie’ after her daughter Barbara’s name. She told her husband to market the doll through his company.
Ruth’s husband, Elliot Handler, had founded the Mattel Company in 1945, together with Harold Matson. Shortly after the company was founded, Matson sold his stake in the company to the Handler. At that time, the company was manufacturing small-scale picture-frames and music products. The company’s managers initially refused to market this adult-looking doll because the doll did not match their product line. But seeing the enthusiasm of Ruth Handler, they agreed to the task.
The first Barbie doll was sold at the Toy Fair in New York in 1959. The 3$ Barbie doll smashed all sales records. Soon, three and a half lakh Barbie dolls were sold.
In 1963, the Mattel Corporation was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Due to the sale of Barbie, Metal Corporation’s revenues exceeded more than 100 million dollars in 1965, and the company was included in the Fortune-500 company.
The company adopted a different approach to market Barbie. After the launch of the Barbie Doll in 1959, the company launched ‘Ken’ as Barbie’s companion in 1961. Ken was named after Ruth’s son. From then until today, Barbie and Ken’s love story has continued to fluctuate. Since Barbie met Ken on the set of a TV commercial, their love story began, which has been the same to date.
There are many fans of this fictional couple around the world who have been following their Perfect Love Story. But amid all this, in 2004, Barbie and Ken decided to split up. After living together for 43 years, they decided to separate, but like a typical Hollywood couple, they said that it was just temporary. Like all Hollywood break-ups at the time, this became a piece of big news. During this time, Ken and Barbie were ‘Just Friends.’ Then in the year 2009, Ken made a surprise entry at Barbie’s 50th birthday party. He was convinced and said that ‘Barbie is the Woman of My Life.’ Then, to win Barbie’s heart again, he launched a multimedia campaign. He put on posters in New York and Los Angeles that ‘Ken-fessed’ his love and wrote, ‘Barbie, you are the only doll for me.’ And ‘Barbie, we may be plastic, but our love is real.’
Ken created a Facebook and a Twitter account. All of these steps represented Ken as a non-fictional character. Finally, on Valentine’s Day in 2011, it was announced that Barbie and Ken have once again become a couple. Modern and tech-savvy Barbie said in the interview, ‘I am amazed by the efforts of Ken and how he showed his love. He knew how to win a doll.’
Thus, this is the most outstanding example of how compelling content is an essential step in your brand engagement with customers. (You know the tagline of Granth, ‘Content to Connect’).
Barbie’s creator Ruth Handler died in 2002, but the doll she made still exists today. The Mattel Company that was not willing to market this Barbie today has become the world’s largest toy company due to Barbie, and today there are 4-5 Barbie dolls sold every second anywhere in the world.