Ultimately, the thing that has always set American Girl apart from its competitors is its emphasis on historical storytelling. And perhaps returning to these roots will give the brand its best chance of standing out in a crowded market and reversing some of its losses. American Girl still releases historical characters, although they are a much smaller proportion of the business compared to the pre-Mattel days. Cygielman says American Girl is still fully committed to helping children process the joys and challenges of childhood much like Valerie Tripp did in the very first books she wrote for the series. And when American Girl does release a new historical doll, it invests a lot of research in the process, and tries to make her story relevant to the issues girls are currently facing. … [Read more...] about American Girl sales are plummeting. Can the iconic ’90s brand be saved?
“Ultimately, Dolittle is not just a weak story, badly told, but a puzzling waste of talent. (The only silver lining? A relatively fleet running time.) Here’s hoping the cast bought themselves something nice with the money they made. Though, to be honest, the only decent thing to do with it would have been to distribute it — a kind of movie malpractice award — among this doctor’s real victims.” —Washington Post … [Read more...] about Here are the most hilariously scathing reviews for Robert Downey Jr.’s ‘Doolittle’
Over the past five years, black consumers’ spending on chemical relaxers has plummeted by more than 30%, according to the analyst group Mintel, and more than 79% of those consumers report wearing a natural hairstyle–‘fro, braids, locs–within the past year. Having traditionally neglected the specific and varied hair needs of black consumers, multinational corporations such as Unilever are throwing more resources behind entries into the space (and occasionally stumbling badly over racial land mines, as Dove did with a controversial TV ad in October). Two years ago, PDC Brands, the maker of Calgon and Dr. Teal’s, acquired Cantu, a favorite brand of naturalistas. A year before that, Carol’s Daughter—founded by former Cosby Show writers’ assistant Lisa Price and boasting such celebrity investors as music mogul Jay-Z and Will and Jada Pinkett Smith–was scooped up by beauty giant L’Oréal. And earlier this year, Pantene, owned by … [Read more...] about SheaMoisture’s Tangled Future