Barbie hands loyalty activity to Dialogue

LONDON - Mattel has hired Dialogue to create and manage a loyalty marketing scheme for its Barbie brand, as it escalates its battle with rival doll brand Bratz.

The US toy manufacturer picked Dialogue following a three-way pitch. The agency will create a number of loyalty mechanisms focused around the theme of 'Making dreams come true'.

Dialogue will develop a number of incentives to encourage consumers to buy more Barbie products, as well as creating competitions with prizes such as experience days.

Barbie has generated more than $3bn in sales since her launch 48 years ago, according to Mattel, selling more than 700m dolls. Last year, the toy firm relaunched Barbie's boyfriend Ken to boost sales.

Mattel's net sales grew by 7% in the third quarter last year from £880m to £940m, and included the third consecutive quarterly sales rise for the Barbie brand.

Mattel's upturn in fortunes was based on strong performances across its toy portfolio, with sales of a 10th anniversary Tickle Me Elmo doll and toys based on the characters from the animated film Cars selling well.

In November, Mattel announced that it was to roll out a Barbie cosmetics range in partnership with Estée Lauder brand MAC (Marketing, 8 November). The line will appear in stores this spring and is understood to carry both MAC and Barbie branding.

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