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Online Shoppers Search For ‘The Poop’

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If you were thinking a classic toy came back to life on its own merit – or that Generation X had managed to instill a sense of Seventies coolness into their children – rewind and think again. As holiday season searches spike for the return of Hasbro’s Baby Alive, you may notice the faint effluvia of marketing, which of course, is what we celebrate in December.

Some serious credit is due to Hasbro’s press release writers, one of whom tossed a gem of a headline:

Get the Poop on Hasbro’s Baby Alive Doll in 2006.


Valerie Jurries, vice president of the Girls division of Hasbro (What? They haven’t been ACL-sued for that yet?) is no less colorful, or scatological.

“We’ve kept the core elements of what made the doll special to begin with – eating and pooping,” she said.

This was just before the boys choir refrain: Why not just get a puppy? With a little training, it requires fewer paper towels. Save a tree, buy a dog.

The reanimation (a better term in this instance than, say, resurrection or rebirth) of Baby Alive is up to 21st Century standards. Not only does she poop, she talks and has facial expressions.

Well that’s pretty cool, even if not a barbaric YAWP. A little ingenuity, a lot of parental nostalgia, and a bit of clever marketing make this doll a winner for Hasbro.

Must be why searches for the doll are up 268 percent as of last week, beating even the abominable Bratz (no link love for Bratz from me, y’all), and the eerily lifelike American Girl dolls, last year’s surprise gainer. Searches for both (up 64% and 14 % respectively) are up again this year, according to Hitwise’s LeeAnn Prescott.

None have unseated Barbie overall, though. Opulent and unrealistic as she is, Barbie still rules, spiking highest in the search world in March, of all months, even during what Prescott calls “a resurgence in popularity [of Baby Alive] that could shift girls’ interests away from other dolls and toys.” Visits to Hasbro Toy Shop are up 128 percent.

“This week I was surprised to see that ‘baby alive’ was the #9 product search term sending visits to Shopping & Classifieds sites,” writes Prescott. “It turns out that Baby Alive is back, and in a big way.”

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