February 14, 2011

Thanks To Social Media, Barbie And Ken Are Back Together!

It’s official! After their tragic breakup in 2004 that ended their 43 year relationship, Barbie and Ken are now officially a couple again! According to CNN, they have already updated their relationship status on Facebook! Little girls everywhere may be jumping for joy but as a social media marketer, why do you care? This epic day hasn’t come overnight. Mattel has been leading up to this moment since the summer with their biggest social media campaign ever. Let’s take a look back at Barbie’s social media career and see what we can learn from the iconic doll.

Breaking On To The Scene

In July, 2010 Barbie splashed onto the social media scene. All at once she created her own Twitter account, Foursquare account, and began posting YouTube videos. Initially, Barbie joined Foursquare in order to promote the new Video Girl. The Barbie Video girl is a doll that has a video camera in it. She used Foursquare to engage in scavenger hunts with her fans and tweeted clues along the way. This fun campaign showed the world that Barbie is not outdated. In fact, now you can tape videos with your doll that can be posted to YouTube!

Go Big, Or Go Home

Following the Video Girl campaign, Barbie still tweeted and checked-in all over. It wasn’t until February 2011 that Mattel came up with their newest social media promotion- Reunite Barbie and Ken! A reunion this big was bound to get a lot of buzz but Mattel also used the tools at their disposal; social media. Both Barbie and Ken had their own Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare pages. Parody videos (that were bound to go viral) were also created and posted to YouTube to spread the word.

Taking The Campaign Offline

This campaign didn’t end online. Mattel invested a lot of money in making sure the campaign was heard around the world. Everywhere you walked in the city you were bombarded by billboards and advertisements of Ken asking for Barbie back. Those who weren’t aware of the social media promotion before were directed there by offline advertising.

User Interaction

The staying power for this campaign wasn’t the cute videos or posters around the city. The icing on the pink, plastic cake was the user interaction. The Barbie Facebook page allowed likers to vote on whether Barbie should take Ken back or not. Now it wasn’t just a fictional romance between two dolls, but instead it was something that the users had a say in. Should Barbie stand her ground and tell Ken to take a hike? Or should love conquer all and reunite the clearly made-for-each-other lovers? You got to decide.

Just because Barbie agreed to take Ken back, doesn’t mean she is going to disappear from social media. In fact, Mattel has already set up things for likers to do now that Barbie and Ken are back together such as browsing through Ken’s grand gestures, downloading music, and more. Still going on is the Genuine Ken contest where the world tries to find the perfect man. And no, the ken-testants are all real people- not plastic! The Barbie and Ken Reunion campaign may be over but I am sure there will be more Barbie buzz to come.


Tags: Facebook, Strategy, Twitter, YouTube

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