If you watched the Superbowl, you most likely saw the new Barbie “crossover” commercial. If you’re like me, you wondered “what is going on?” The commercial featured Anna Kendrick, Barbie, and some sort of homeowner’s insurance company.
The commercial appeared to be focused on the homeowner’s insurance…but why was Barbie there? Why was Anna Kendrick talking about Barbie in the beginning? The bizarre crossover came across as a jumbled mess of random things that didn’t go together rather than a commercial. It was totally unclear what product the commercial was for and what age group they were advertising to.
Mattel has found themselves trying to compete with other popular, and more diverse, doll companies in a multiple doll market. Barbie was revolutionary and changed the toy market when Mattel released her. Some say that Barbie is a classic and a testament to how good toys can stand the test of time. Some say that Barbie has not continued to keep up with her “revolutionary” reputation, particularly in diversity. Many argue that the commercial did show more than just blonde, blue-eyed dolls. While I agree Mattel is taking steps in the right direction, these steps appear to be because of backlash and consumers that show preference to more diverse doll companies. Also, the product quality has decreased as prices increase, leaving me to wonder if the more mature commercial is aimed towards adult collectors who are willing to pay for nostalgia.
Viewers come to know a mascot as a representation of certain products and when that is mixed with a different product it suddenly becomes irrelevant. Whatever the reason was that Mattel had for mixing dolls and insurance, this commercial seemed to be one of many in a lineup of “crossover” commercials featured for the Superbowl. They all had one thing in common: confused viewers.