Great Marketing Suggestions for Mattel: Orthodox Jew Barbie
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I've been asked to address you, the members of the Mattel Development Committee, today about the recent financial woes plaguing Mattel, Inc. To be truthful, in my ten years as an addresser of development committees, I have never seen a situation with as much potential as yours. Usually, I just advise people to file for bankruptcy or get a contract with Andersen Accounting to "avoid" filing for bankruptcy. But today, I have other news. Today, I have three words of hope. Those words are: Orthodox Jew Barbie.
Mattel has frequently come under fire for its supposedly unrealistic portrayal of the female figure of its Barbie doll. Well, what could be more realistic and less attractive than a stout doll in a long denim skirt and gym shoes, complete with the customary hairnet type head covering? The potential for Orthodox Jew Barbie doesn't end there. No, not only could we market the doll, but just imagine how many different offspring we could sell in companion kits. Barbie's sister Kelly would become obsolete next to the well-packaged Revekah, Avram, Schmuel, Aviva, and little Moshe. We could even sell little Moshe's removable sidelocks as separate accessories.
Speaking of accessories, Orthodox Jew Barbie has immense commercial potential for Jew-related accessory kits. Imagine, if you will, the seder kit. It would include the traditional seder plate, as well as mini matzos, little Hagadahs, and perhaps even a transparent Prophet Elijah to drink the wine. Kids would have hours of fun setting up and holding Passover seders for Orthodox Jew Barbie and her friends.
The area of friends is perhaps less apparent in this case. In the past, we have simply created Asian and black versions of the prototype white doll and marketed them as the original doll's "friends." While that system may have worked in the less politically correct atmosphere of earlier decades, it's time to upgrade. We should celebrate each culture or race or whatever they call it these days individually. I suggest then, to accompany Orthodox Jew Barbie and her endless brood of children, that we remain in keeping with Jewish custom and create a suitable Orthodox Jew Ken as her husband. However, to appeal to the public, I suggest we give him the catchier name of Kippa Ken.
Kippa Ken would be a departure from our usual approach to Barbie's man friend. He would clearly not be well-built or tall or even blond. It is imperative that we remain realistic and create a short, thin, bearded, hunched over doll. He would come equipped with a number of attractive accessories to illustrate his commitment to Judaism. These would include the obvious tall black hat and prayer shawl, as well as a miniature Talmud, a medical license, and a BMW.
Transportation is also an untapped gold mine for the Orthodox Jew line. Granted, the Barbie Beetle and the Barbie Porsche have been met with relatively little success, but I believe that this is because we have approached the doll transportation market with entirely the wrong outlook. Instead of advertising expensive, trendy cars to little girls we should consider the classics. By classics, of course, I'm referring to the classic 1979 Buick Station Wagon complete with rusted fender and missing hubcaps. Nothing says Jewish family transportation like a beat up station wagon.
What I'm suggesting is just a rough outline of course, and I look forward to adding a great deal to the prototypes. I have ideas for a Shabbos accessory kit and even an Orthodox Jew Temple much like the current Barbie Dream House. Here at Mattel, the only way to get out of our rut is to embrace the multi-culturalism and diversity that the American culture has embraced. If we continue to stubbornly create the same blond-haired, blue-eyed beach model doll that we have been creating for the last 50 years, we're dooming ourselves to continued attacks from advocates for fat people and other freaks of nature. Why fight them? We want to give the impression that here at Mattel, we also celebrate diversity. If we truly want to increase our profits, we should simply give in and join them, and Orthodox Jew Barbie is the first step in that direction. Once we have made that step, who know where we can go? Maybe one day, even Muslim Barbie will be a reality.
Dee Dee Peel can cover for you.