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Marketing Barbie our Automotive Role Model?

Published Feb 23rd 2007, 3:01pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Barbie1Growing up with three sisters, the Barbie doll fascination just really escaped me. I wanted a Ken doll, he just seemed a bit more realistic as a role model for me. My sisters worried about nail polish and when they could wear nylons, I wanted a tree house in the back yard. I am 100% all girl and love the guys but my interests were much more athletic naturally. Check out this limited production Barbie-themed hot pink bug reviewed by Car and Driver recently, is this what women want?  Do we think Barbie pink when it comes to our car buying decisions?

Growing up I wanted a bike, roller skates, to go back packing and loved to camp. I loved being outside, while my sisters stayed inside and played records, painted their nails, wore rollers in their hair and played house with Barbie, yuck!  Okay, I admit I was a bit of a tom-boy.....I loved to hang out with my Dad in the garage while he tinkered on our family car or played hide and seek in the backyard.

As it turned out two of my sisters are nurses and one is in real estate, traditional careers for women. I took the natural path to competing in male dominated industries beginning with the world of technology and then eventually got in through the back door to the automotive industry. I love all things car and automotive related....and have been very succesful competing in these male dominant and high paying fields.

Cheech_kiss_barbie_car Now, lets take a look at Barbie and her role model to us girls in regards to what kind of vehicle is supposed to flip our buying switch.  The good news is that Barbie did love to drive and over the years had several makes and models that little girls loved to own. Did these Barbie makes and models teach us what we should buy or what kind of automotive purchase fits us?

Barbie_suv Barbie has owned many sports car editions,( quite a few convertible editions that punctuate the sexy Barbie image), sedans, a limo, a jeep 4x4 , an SUV, a VW van,vintage cars, remote control editions and the recent electric jeep for little girls to drive on their own. There is a selection of Barbie motor homes, RV's and camping trailers, so Barbie did like to camp, ( I have a daughter and three granddaughters who love to camp with me in my RV), thank you Barbie!

Barbie_racer There is a NASCAR themed Barbie doll but NO Barbie NASCAR race car, Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Reflective of this race series? Don't get me up on that soap box! Barbie did hook up with a young female race car driver in an open wheel race series in 2001  Ashley Taws,
driving the "Be Anything With          Barbie at Wal-Mart" car decked out in an attention-grabbing pink and purple color scheme.

Hdbarbie4 Barbie's tastes in her automotive purchasing has evolved since the 60's, she even rides a Harley in today's updated version, and so do I.

Although I am tall , blonde and wear a 36 XX and to some, might think I idealize the Barbie look (certainly in my younger days), however, I have never owned a pink or purple car, truck or RV. The 2006 Barbie catalog of dolls  is interesting to review and these Barbie role models are what the girls of today are looking at to form their view of what they want to grow up to be like and will influence their buying decisions.

I have three granddaughters, my seven year old loves Barbie and I am sure the younger ones will all get the Barbie influence and the Barbie world part of their upcoming  birthday and holiday gift wish lists. I find the 2006 Barbie doll collection a bit disturbing, a sexy maid? a nurse? a sexy bikini? a fashion statement? a bride? a sexy cowgirl? What is Barbie saying to my precious granddaughters?

What are your thoughts on Barbie as a role model for young girls, her influence ultimately on women's car buying decisions and career choices or are the Bratz dolls going to be the new influencers?

Jody DeVere
Ask, Inc.


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