Barbie doll to sponsor ITV’s Sabrina show

Barbie, owned by US toy giant Mattel, is to sponsor the ITV children’s programme Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The sponsorship, negotiated between Vision 40 and Granada Media on behalf of Mattel and the ITV Sponsorship Group respectively, forms part of the &£1m UK launch campaign for “edgy” Barbie sub-brand Generation Girl. The initiative includes screen idents for a new series of the top-rated US show, starting on September 6. Generation Girl is a range of six dolls billed as Barbie’s friends – described as “hip, high-schoolers” from around the world. One of the dolls, Chelsie, sports a nose ring. Last year, episodes of Sabrina attracted 700,000 four to nine-year-old viewers to Children’s ITV. Barbie’s core market for the new range is seven- to eight-year-olds. Cheryl Sloan, Mattel product manager, says: “Sponsoring Sabrina is a fantastic opportunity for us to get across to girls what this new brand stands for. “The things that make Sabrina appeal to girls – her sassiness, attitude and look – are all the things we are trying to achieve with this range.” The deal comes as Mattel aims to extend the Barbie brand through spin-offs following the launch of Kelly – Barbie’s younger sister – earlier this year. Generation Girl was launched in the US in June in a campaign through Ogilvy & Mather. Young & Rubicam, also a Mattel roster agency, has since taken on US work for the new brand.

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