Globalization Versus Normative Policy: A Case Study on the Failure of the Barbie Doll in the Indian Market by Priti Nemani
In his often cited opinion on trademark law, Judge Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals succinctly identified both the significance and the tension embodied in the Barbie doll figure. Barbie leads in the world of young females, with her vast wardrobe, her extensive life experiences, and her many diverse friends. In a drive to capitalize on the growing phenomenon of globalization, Mattel repackages Barbie in a variety of ethnicities. Making superficial ethnic and racial modifications to the doll, such as adorning her unrealistic, sexualized physique in cultural fashions, has been a largely successful marketing strategy for Mattel in many international markets, winning the allegiances of little girls throughout the world. The same strategy, however, utterly failed to capture the hearts, and the brand loyalty, of young female consumers in India.