With the first season the Mad Men taking place in 1960 and the Barbie brand being introduced in 1959, it was only a matter of time before the two industries merged together. Sold at around $75.00 per doll, Barbie and Ken will soon become one of four characters in Mad Men: Joan Holloway, Roger Sterling, Don Draper, or Betty Draper.
But do the characters of Mad Men fall too close to home to be a typical Barbie doll? Is Betty Draper not a Barbie doll herself? This draws an interesting question; now that we see the damage and disloyalty that truly lies behind the perfect “Barbie doll” characters on Mad Men, does that make the image of Barbie and Ken less perfect?
This is something the creative executives at Barbie marketing took under consideration. As stated by Stuart Elliott in his New York Times article about the subject, “The dolls come with period accessories like hats, overcoats, pearls and padded undergarments, but no cigarettes, ashtrays, martini glasses or cocktail shakers." It turns out, it doesn’t matter whether you are living in 1960 or 2010; when it comes to advertising, image almost always takes precedence over truth.