A new partnership between inflight media agency Spafax and global toy and entertainment company Mattel has enabled the creation of a branded Barbie in-flight entertainment (IFE) channel aimed at younger audiences for the airline market.
The announcement comes just days after the Barbie movie reached $1 billion in gross ticket sales across the globe, and it is clear airlines are keen to capitalize on the film’s success.
Qatar Airways; IAG, the parent company of British Airways (BA); Iberia Airlines and Aer Lingus are all planning to add the channel to their IFE offerings across various platforms, including both seatback screens and passengers’ personal electronic devices.
Emma Gunn, Spafax’s director of TV Acquisitions and Partnerships, said, “At Spafax, we’ve always had an instinct for what resonates. This partnership is yet another instance where we’ve tapped into the global pulse at just the right moment, melding our entertainment know-how with travel expertise amidst the Barbie renaissance.”
The channel will showcase a host of Barbie-themed animated programming, including nearly a dozen films like “Barbie Mermaid Power,” an underwater rescue mission by Malibu Barbie and friends; and “Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures,” a new series that spans both at-home and on-the-road escapades for Barbie and her crew.
“It’s an exciting moment for Mattel, as we continue our movement into being an IP-driven company with a full franchise approach,” added Alex Godfrey, VP Content Distribution at Mattel. “This deal with Spafax helps us expand our entertainment offering to consumers, meaning that wherever they are fans of our shows can enjoy the content they love.”
Mattel has also partnered with Air Canada, which is showcasing content from a number of the company’s brands including Barbie and Hot Wheels, among others.
Earlier this week, Spafax also announced that throughout August, BA will showcase seven one-hour stand-up comedy gigs on its IFE platform to coincide with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The performances are filmed by UK-based production company and streaming platform NextUp and licensed by Just For Laughs Distribution.
This month, the shows will be housed in a dedicated ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ category within BA’s IFE system before moving to the comedy section when the festival ends, where they will stay until January 31, 2024.