Case Title: Were Mattel's Efforts Kenough?

Submitted by: Rebecca Wolff, Mariela Dothe-Marcial, Chloe Oakes and Katrina White

School: University of Florida

Faculty Advisor: Pat Ford

Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll has been a cornerstone of American pop culture since its launch in 1959, but controversy over Barbie’s prior lack of inclusivity and unrealistic standards for women have cast a shadow over the doll’s reputation. The students explored how Mattel successfully transformed Barbie and recontextualized the brand for future generations of fans. They also assess the impact of the campaign on stakeholders, as well as evaluate it in accordance with the Page Principles.

Note: Teaching notes will be made available to faculty upon request.

2024 Student Case Study Competition

Page, in alliance with the Institute for Public Relations, conducts an annual competition for the writing of original case studies by students enrolled in a school of business, communication or journalism and who are pursuing a degree that is focused on corporate communications and the practice of public relations. The objectives of the competition are to introduce practical applications of the core principles that define corporate communication as a critical function of management to educators, teachers and students, and encourage research that contributes to the profession's body of knowledge and provide practical suggestions for improving the corporate communications function. Student authors of winning entries and their faculty advisors are awarded cash prizes and recognized by the nation's leading corporate communications executives.

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The grand prize winner receives the Jack Koten Case Study Award, named in honor of John A. "Jack" Koten, one of the founding members of the Arthur W. Page Society and its first president.