February 14, 2011
A 21st-century love story: Ken, Barbie and social media
Harnessing Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and YouTube, Mattel is running an integrated social media campaign to celebrate Ken’s 50th anniversary. The campaign culminates today, Valentine’s Day, with the reveal of new dolls. The effort focuses on the story of Ken’s efforts to win back Barbie after a six-year separation. Fans can follow both Barbie’s and Ken’s journeys and interact with the characters via their social presences: Ken and Barbie check in and leave tips on Foursquare, interact with brands on Twitter (Living Social, CBS, Apple and Hulu, to name a few), post Barbie-inspired content on YouTube and share “thoughts” on Facebook. Consumers were able to vote (via text or website) on whether the two should get back together—they decided the dolls should give their romance another chance—or leave advice for the duo on their social sites.
By creating a narrative that’s woven through various social platforms, Mattel has provided multiple opportunities for fans to interact and connect with the brand. This is a key way for brands to reduce barriers to entry for consumers, encourage user engagement and build brand affinity.