Mattel taps social, online media for Ken doll's makeover

03/22/2011 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

The Ken doll, which recently turned 50, is getting a midlife brand makeover from Mattel. The toy giant has created an online reality show around Ken and is using Facebook, Twitter and other social tools to help give Barbie's boyfriend his own identity. Ken also will get a new face based on the winner of "Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend." The brand update is part of Mattel's push "to shift [its] media mix to where the customers are," said Dean DeBiase, chairman of Reboot Partners.

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