February 26, 2014
G.I. Joe: Marketing an Icon
G.I. Joe, Hasbro Inc.’s most successful brand, is an icon in the toy industry and has been a very important factor for a number of years since its launch in 1964. This specific toy or better known ‘action figure’ has had its ups and downs, but has still stayed relevant and extremely popular where other toys have come and gone through their phases. Since this toy has been around for so long, it is most popular audience is boys ages 8 - 10. Since this case take place in 2003, Hasbro Inc. needs to find a new way to market this action figure since younger boys are starting to put their toys down around the age of 12 because they are more interested in electronic games as opposed to playing with action figures. Since technology seems to be taking over, Hasbro Inc. needs to find a way to target their customers in a more efficient way.
Hasbro Inc has the option of using a traditional approach to marketing the G.I. Joe brand, which has proven to be successful in the toy business in the past. They can also choose to market G.I. Joe by supplementing tradition media with limited entertainment by including a added DVD feature to the purchase of an action figure. Hasbro Inc. can also use non-traditional forms of marketing. G.I. Joe’s brand is recognizable to most America families, and the product dominates the aisle in the toy stores because of its good relationships with retailers such as Walmart and Target.
If Hasbro Inc. wants to get to the production level of Mattel’s infamous Barbie line, which sells roughly 1.5 million units a week, they are going to have to carefully pick a marketing strategy that will help Hasbro Inc. get to that level or somewhat in that ballpark. The traditional marketing approach is the first option which includes advertising such as print, TV and websites. G.I. Joe has done this for the past 40 years and has not yet reached that level that Mattel has with Barbie. I feel that since this is something they have been doing it is time to change