Over the last few years, Mattel ($MAT) has made its mission to be as inclusive as humanly possible, which is a noble and valiant effort. It's still creating more products to sell to a mass market for profit, sure, but being more inclusive is never a bad thing! Especially for your bottom line.
"We’ve been committed to increasing diversity in our line and showcasing all the different types of beauty that exist...making the line more accessible." - Senior Vice President / Global Head of Barbie Lisa McKnight
But with the most recent announcement of new Barbie dolls, Mattel is driven on changing the narrative around what Barbie represents, who it represents, and how we look at each other through its new line of toys. Will it be able to have an impact on societal norms while also raking in the dough? And more importantly to Mattel, is the new yearly announcements of its Fashionistas having a tangible effect on its sales and its fandom?
Every time there's a new major press release, there's a jump in Facebook 'Talking About' count. March 2018 was this story about the 'Role Model' line of Barbies, and March 2019 was this one about a BTS doll line. But there isn't any natural source of engagement otherwise. We know Barbie dolls sell, and children still like them, but when it comes to adult buzz on Facebook, it seems news stories about product announcements get that jolt, and then the news dies down, and that's about it.
Not even the holiday gift-buying season can get a rise out of the data. Facebook likes are also stagnant, sitting at half a million currently. The 90 degree upwards spike makes us think Mattel might be buying some online love to boost itself, which is identical to the Twitter data (not shown here, buy our demo).
The most striking and damning bit of data, if you're inclined to believe user reviews as gospel, is that more people are going online to rate Mattel's toys. And the ratings are getting worse year over year. It's marginal, but you chalk it up to toxic fandom or a statistical anomaly, either way that chart happens to mirror the next chart almost exactly in an eerie way.
In our final chart, we can see that no matter how many new employees Mattel hires, its stock has been dropping like an anchor since 2016. The last few months it's gone up $5, but it's not quite like how it was valued five years ago.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.
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