Barbie in Marketing Pas de Deux with Paris Opera

15 May 2001

The French subsidiary of US toymaker Mattel has declared its undying love for the Paris National Opera, sealing its requited passion with an undisclosed financial dowry.

The marketing deal centers around the debut of Mattel’s best-selling doll Barbie as – eat your heart out Piotr Ilich – the heroine in a computer animated feature film of Tchaikovsky’s ballet suite, The Nutcracker. The movie is scheduled for direct-to-video release throughout France this fall.

Apart, perhaps from alienating culture vultures, the deal benefits everyone. Mattel will conduct ballet-related marketing promos for the upcoming film – for example, private screenings at the prestigious Paris venue, contests offering tours of the Opera and dance master classes; while the National Opera will devote the Barbie dowry to support its nationwide youth-oriented activities.

Ogilvy & Mather’s Paris office will handle advertising for the film, plus the merchandising for a series of new dolls linked to its release.

There is, however, no truth in the rumor that the PNO is staging The Barbie of Seville or a new production of La Bohëme in which the heroine trills: ‘They call me Barbie’.

News source: Advertising Age - International Daily