Sunday, March 12, 2023

Marketing News of the Week: Packaging, No More Red Carpet, Barbie (Again), and More

This week, there were many news stories that impacted marketing messages and brand storytelling.

How important is packaging? In case you didn't think so, it turns out very important, especially if you create a product manufactured in Switzerland.

According to Food reporter Allen Foster of Denver, Colorado, "When someone mentions Toblerone, you immediately envision the iconic shape: a long triangular stick of chocolate packaged in a pale yellow wrapper and emblazoned with bold red print. It’s so recognizable that the candy often appears in TV and film...However, due to ​​the Swissness Act, which was approved on September 2, 2015, and went into effect on January 1, 2017, Toblerone must change its iconic packaging."

Foster explained that if a service or product does not originate in Switzerland, there are packaging and advertising restrictions. Since Mondelez International (an American multinational confectionery, food, holding and beverage and snack food company based in Chicago that markets Toblerone) has outsourced some of the production to Slovakia to save on costs, by law, Toblerone packaging can no longer feature words, phrases, or images that might lead consumers to believe that the product was manufactured in Switzerland.

While the new design of the Toblerone packaging has yet to be revealed, there are a few things that have been shared. The words “of Switzerland” are being replaced by the words “Established in Switzerland,” and the packaging will feature a mountain logo that continues to reference the chocolate’s iconic shape without being specific to the Matterhorn. Additionally, the Swiss flag will be removed from any versions of the packaging where it currently appears.

The Academy Awards are coming, and with them, the famous red carpet where celebrities show off their extravagant fashion. But wait, what color carpet was installed outside The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California?

According to ABC7, "For the first time in six decades, Hollywood's biggest night is not rolling out the red carpet. The celebrated carpet will be a champagne color this year...The idea came from creative consultants." One explained, "We chose this beautiful sienna saffron color that evokes the sunset, because this is the sunset before the golden hour."

Actually, the champagne carpet probably was chosen to match the gold Oscar statuettes that winners receive.

On March 9, 1959, the Barbie doll made her debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York City. And the rest is history, or better stated, HERstory.

In 1956, the Ruth and Elliot Handlers took their two teenage children, Barbara and Ken, on a trip to Europe, and during the trip, they saw a doll that looked like an adult woman. This doll was much different from the baby dolls that most little girls played with back in America.

Ruth was inspired, and three years later, Mattel’s version of the adult doll, which she named after her daughter, debuted and became a big success. The Barbie doll also had a wardrobe of outfits that could be purchased separately. In 1960, the Handlers took their company, Mattel, public, and Barbie quickly became an icon, with a wardrobe and career options that mirrored women’s changing goals.

Ruth Handler said in a 1977 interview with The New York Times, “Every little girl needed a doll through which to project herself into her dream of her future. If she was going to do role-playing of what she would be like when she was 16 or 17, it was a little stupid to play with a doll that had a flat chest. So I gave the doll beautiful breasts. And Barbie kept pace with the times. During Camelot, she sported a Jacqueline Kennedy hairdo. During the 1970’s, her career choices and outfits begin to change to include a doctor, astronaut and veterinarian, among others. My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, a girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.”


March is Women's History Month, or better stated, Women's HERstory Month, and March 8th is celebrated all over the world as International Women's Day. First recognized by the United Nations in 1975, the day has also been a major part of the women’s rights movement and helped to create conversations about gender biases.

The International Women’s Day website announced that this year’s theme was #EmbraceEquity: "a focus on gender equity needs to be part of every society’s DNA." The website also highlighted the difference between equity and equality by explaining that the former means "creating an inclusive world, through acts like challenging gender stereotypes, calling out discrimination, drawing attention to bias, and embracing diversity. Another goal was to get the world talking about Why equal opportunities aren not enough."

Read more at:

To read more inspiring posts about International Women's Day and Women's Equality, check out the following links on my blog:

Celebrate International Women's Day with a Convo with Nadine Epstein

Tips to Create Gender Equality in Your Workplace

Good Leadership Is NOT Defined By Your Gender

Personal Branding Tips from Madeleine Albright

Three Books to Celebrate Women's Equality Day

Is Your Brand Ready for International Women's Day

What other marketing news stood out to you this week?

What will be the marketing buzz next week? Tune in to read all about it.

Image Credits: Mattel, Yahoo Finance, and Toblerone.

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