Nifty gifts for Barbie’s 50th

The eternally 17-year-old doll is turning 50 this year, and Mattel Canada has called up a party full of brand-extending partnerships to celebrate.

The eternally 17-year-old doll is turning 50 this year, and Mattel Canada has called up a party full of brand-extending partnerships to celebrate.

Using the spring Fashion Week in Toronto in March as a launch platform, Canadian fashion designer David Dixon will debut a Barbie-inspired and co-branded line of clothing. Toronto-based Cake Beauty will launch the Barbie by Cake line of bath and beauty products; Town Shoes will release a limited-edition pair of stilettos featuring the black and white pattern of Barbie’s first swimsuit; Foxy Originals will launch a jewellery line inspired by the doll; while Glenn Dixon, star of Take this House and Sell It! on the W Network, will create a line of furnishings, linens and home accents.

‘Predominantly we work in the traditional toy industry, but over the last number of years we’ve really strived to evolve the brand to more of a lifestyle/fashion statement,’ says Mississauga, Ont.-based Reidin Goode, senior marketing manager, girls, Mattel Canada. ‘Fashion has always been at the heart of [the brand], so our whole objective with the campaign is to allow girls of all ages to rediscover their inner Barbie girls.’

The party will be supported with a campaign in Canadian fashion and lifestyle brands through the spring as well as a microsite, barbie50.ca, all aimed at adult women. Partner retailers such as Town Shoes and Sephora, which carries Cake, will support the individual lines with in-store events and contests. A travelling Barbie Memory Booth will also tour major retail locations across the country, so consumers can record their memories of Barbie, some of which will appear on the site.

Toronto-based Carat Media handled media buys, while Ogilvy & Mather is currently working with Mattel’s El Segundo, C.A.-based in-house design department on creative.