27 July, 2010
A HALF-CENTURY AS A BRAND.
Sindy was launched in 1962/63 by Pedigree – whatever the “ups and downs”, the Brand will soon pass the 50 year mark, a very significant lifespan for any brand.
NOT JUST A BRITISH DOLL, BUT A FASHION AND CULTURAL ICON.
Sindy was launched as a children’s toy, but reflected the distinctly British fashion and culture that was abloom at the time. Sindy fashions took inspiration from Mary Quant, Carnaby Street and Twiggy, “her boyfriend was Paul, like the lead singer of the Beatles”. Over the years, she linked with other icons such as Princess Diana (the wedding outfits created by the Emmanuelles, the designers for Diana), the “Mini” car, Torvill and Dean, etc.
Doll play is a form of psychological and social development for children, helping them relate to, adapt to and embrace the world around them. British themes and “cues” for the doll helped kids and Mums embrace the Brand as “their own”. Doll play is universal, but Sindy is British, Sindy is “us”. At her best, Sindy represents “Britishness”.
BUT WHAT ABOUT GLOBALIZATION? “WORLD BRANDS”?
Brands and influences from “over there” have experienced great successes, exotic foreign icons have shown huge popularity, but globalization is not all it’s cracked up to be...”local pride and identity” is a growing trend and is, to some degree, a rejection of globalization and “following in lockstep”.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THE SINDY BRAND?
After 20 years or so of success, Sindy faced the arrival of Barbie in the UK, with superpower American themes, pop culture and money. Reacting to tactical successes by Barbie/Mattel on the marketing front, Sindy tended to follow and imitate rather than hold her ground over the next 20 years. She even developed global pretensions under Hasbro, in a global “toy war” between Hasbro and Mattel. These escapades on the “world stage” have distanced Sindy from the image and essence she once had. A long focus on industrial