All posts tagged: Dora the Explorer

Sugar Water: It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Gets Fired

Three weeks ago the New York Times reported that Mattel is producing Ken and Barbie dolls based on four characters from the hit TV series Mad Men to promote the show’s fourth season, which starts on the AMC cable network in July. And at the American International Toy Fair in February, Mattel introduced Barbie’s 125th and 126th job titles to date, as voted on by consumers: computer engineer and TV anchor. The latter career was chosen by girls, while it’s safe to assume that the winner of the “popular vote” was due in no small part to all those thirtysomething male toy collectors who dream that a gal like Barbie is just one interview away from joining their company’s IT department. That is, if those men still have jobs — the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in January that one in five American men is unemployed. So even though Barbie won’t be turning heads at the unemployment office anytime soon, what’s the job market like for some of America’s other favorite toys?

Numberscruncher: Who Needs the Radio?

When I was a kid, I had to listen to whatever the DJ picked. One of the odder decade-end lists was Nielsen’s list of the most-played singles on radio between 2000 and 2009.  It’s a head scratcher – “Drops of Jupiter” got more play than “American Idiot” or anything by Coldplay? Usher was bigger than Beyonce or Justin Timberlake? In what universe? It’s a list that reflects radio programmers who are out of touch with what real people are listening to. In the first decade of the 21st century, the radio broadcasters consolidated to make more money. Led by Clear Channel, which owns 894 radio stations in the United States, the goal was to offer standardized programming everywhere. Clear Channel also promoted concerts and bands, so it offered a seamless package for advertisers. The problem is that the listeners revolted. No matter how many times they had to listen to it, a line like “the best soy latte you ever had” never inspired drivers to sing along at the top of their lungs. Besides, Clear …