Barbie is getting another makeover. The 62-year-old Mattel brand is debuting Barbie Loves the Ocean, its first fashion doll collection made of recycled ocean-bound plastic. To introduce the line, Barbie is running a marketing campaign playing on its decades-old association with pink called ‘The Future of Pink is Green.’
“We’ve made great strides with representation, showcasing diversity in our product line. Barbie has also stood for empowerment and equal opportunity, so sustainability is the next big pillar,” says Lisa McKnight, senior VP and global head of Barbie and dolls at Mattel. She says the line has been in the works for about 18 months.
Indeed, Barbie has changed its image in recent years from one of unrealistic female tropes to a brand that pushes imaginative play and female empowerment. Sales have soared as a result. Worldwide gross billings of the Barbie brand were up 87% to $276.2 million for the most recent quarter at Mattel. Last month, the brand released a new marketing campaign designed to help kids improve their social skills following pandemic-related lockdowns.