Marketing to WEIRD — Or, Why Weird Barbie Rules!!!
Written by Samantha Phillips
On August 7, Mattel announced a limited-time addition of Weird Barbie, a replica of Kate McKinnon’s character Greta Gerwig’s from the billion-dollar, blockbusterBarbie. The pre-order option is lonnggg past now. And the doll has been out-of-stock since it posted — predicting the success of sales, and the embrace of weird. This is a sign that consumers the-world-over truly welcome doll-diversity!
What is "weird" anyway? According to Merriam-Webster, weird means of strange or extraordinary character. It can also mean supernatural or magical. This inclusion is a fabulous shift and foretells successful sales of products that embrace beauty beyond the stereotypical.
Even before the announcement of the Weird Barbie doll, I've heard of friends planning to be Weird Barbie for Halloween and we've all seen the memes embracing the notion that "we are all Weird Barbie." If there's a time for a mainstream company like Mattel to market weird, it's NOW.
The $50-dollar Weird Barbie Doll is designed by Javier Meabe. The Mattel website states "Our doll version wears an outfit inspired by one you’ll see in the feature film, a bright pink dress with colorful artwork and puffy sleeves, and green snakeskin boots. She also features short, tousled hair and markings on her face to emulate a doll that’s been played with just a little too much."
Even though the Weird Barbie — like her traditional Barbie cohorts — can't stand on her own, she comes with the classic Barbie stand to help her to her feet. According to the description, her body is "made to move." So, yes, Weird can do splits like she can in the movie. (But don’t all our Barbie dolls do that already?)
For those Weird Barbie fans wanting merch fast, Mattel offers a groovy “Stay Weird" T-shirt for only $30. This “stylish addition to your business-casual wardrobe” — in a yummy buttercup yellow — features a dynamic image of Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie driving solo in a hot-pink jacket, behind an equally hot, hot-pink wheel.Drive us forward, Weird Barbie!