Case Study: Barbie Launches New Career and Turns to Social Media to Promote
Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll has launched a new career as a videographer and being the savvy diva she is, turned to Foursquare and Twitter to promote it.
On July 20th while on her summer vacation Barbie launched a Video Girl Scavenger Hunt to promote her latest career as the multi-media Video Girl Barbie doll across San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York and used her social media assets to promote it.
Let’s take a look at her assets and how they were used:
- All Doll’d Up: Barbies’ blog where she dishes on the hottest parties and latest fashion trends was used to announce the scavenger hunt.
- Celebrity profile on Foursquare: Scavenger hunt participants needed to follow the doll and check-in to the same location as part of the hunt.
- @BarbieStyle twitter handle: Barbie tweeted out text, photo and video clues to her over 17,000 followers about her whereabouts in the different cities.
In each case, the winner of the hunt had to either present something pink to the street teams or prove their Foursquare check-in at the location on their mobile phone or show the original Barbie tweet of the clue. The first to find Barbie and her team in each of the cities received a Barbie Video Girl doll.
Barbie also partnered with Twitter influencer and video blogger, iJustine, to promote the new doll. iJustine led a video tour of the Mattel factory on the YouTube Channel (uploaded on July 14th and currently has over 880,000 views).
When I first saw the news, I was a bit surprised by the tactic – I know Foursquare is HOT right now, but I didn’t think tweens were getting in on the action just yet. However, according to Lauren Dougherty, director of Barbie marketing at Mattel, tweens were never the target for this campaign. In an interview with Promo Magazine, Dougherty recapped the major role social media played in last year’s 50th Anniversary campaign and through those efforts they discovered Barbie’s a doll for girls of all ages. She also notes that fifty percent of the brand is licensing, including adult products, entertainment and a collectors business. And where to target those older audiences: why, social media of course.
As part of the 50th anniversary campaign, Barbie launched a Facebook fan page – where she currently has over 445,000 Likes. At launch, the content was more feature-driven and about shaping Barbie as a person—what she likes, what she does, but this year the content has evolved to include more marketing promotions, such as:
Don’t worry boys and girls, Ken hasn’t been forgotten about. According to insiders at Mattel, Barbie’s dreamy ex is getting ready for a social media break out of his own later this year. Given the 2004 highly publicized breakup, fans can expect to see him either giving or asking for relationship advice or possibly even reconciliation for the two love birds? We’ll be looking out.