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Ken gets a New Face as He Reunites with Barbie

March 22, 2011 by Amber Comments Off on Ken gets a New Face as He Reunites with Barbie divider image

Mattel’s hottest couple, Ken and Barbie, are back together just in time for Ken’s 50th birthday which was celebrated on March 11.

After breaking up in 2004, Ken was able to get Barbie back for Valentine’s Day. Now that they’re officially back together, Mattel is celebrating by releasing a whole new batch of toys such as the limited edition which features Ken and Barbie in swimsuits from the early days of their relationship. There will also be a “smooth talking Ken” and a “sweet talking ken” and a limited edition “She Said Yes” set of dolls, according to a press release. Barbie will also be getting a new look with the brand new Verushda doll from Russia and an Elly May Clampett doll ready to hit Beverly Hills.

In addition, Mattel is redesigning Ken, and to choose his new look, an eight part series was created named “Genuine Ken: The Search for the great American Boyfriend.” The webisodes centered on finding an All American wholesome boyfriend that Ken would incarnate, and the winner was 25-year-old Kurtis Taylor, former linebacker for Iowa State, who says a perfect boyfriend is the one who “truly cares about his girl. He puts her feelings above his at all times and makes sure she is happy at the end of every day.”

The “ken-testants” had to compete in bachelorette-type challenges to find the “ultimate boyfriend for every occasion,” reports the New York Times. Dean DeBiase of Reboot Partners, which advises companies on new growth strategies, said that the “Genuine Ken” series marks the new social marketing trend of finding “where the customers are.”

“Television viewership is shifting — kids are not watching on Saturday morning — and cable is slipping, so brands are looking to social, local, mobile and video to get their message out,” He said. “Mattel has tied the ‘Genuine Ken’ series to Facebook and Twitter and created a lot of buzz,” he added to the Times. “The show allows it to extend its audience beyond little girls to teen girls and adults who are not playing with Barbies anymore but have an emotional tie with the brand and may be collectors.”

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