Team Ken: Mattel Makes a Move to Social

I was never a Barbie loving type of girl. She didn’t look like me, she never held the jobs I really wanted (until the late 90s), and I really wasn’t interested in a pink house. But, when I saw that Mattel was on a mission to reunite Barbie and Ken, I couldn’t help but smile. Maybe it’s my new cubicle neighbor, who has a Valentine’s Day tree (yes it’s true) and pink and red decor all over. Or, maybe I’m becoming a softy. Regardless, let’s just say that this February, I’m a sucker for love.

Have you seen the new Ken’s mission to win back his beloved Barbie? If not, check out this video.

What I like is that Mattel is bringing to life two of the most iconic childhood figures through the online world. The digital campaign is centered around the web site. They also leverage social media platforms to provide realtime updates and deliver individualized messaging. The website has a voting mechanism and a “Love-o-Meter,” and it includes links to Barbie and Ken’s social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

The use of each platform is personal and humorous and has a distinct voice for both dolls. Ken shares stroll down memory lane through FourSquare check-ins. It’s cute. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s Barbie so what do we expect?

There are a few things I like about this campaign. The integration is smart, the way that the social platforms is smart in the sense that it allows us to hear a Ken’s distinct, pleading voice. We see Barbie and Ken as people, but can also enjoy the humor in the fact that they are dolls. Do I wish it was just more than simply tweeting and checking in? Yes. Are there more humorous ways of presenting Ken’s story? Absolutely. Does this effort really reach their target demo? I’m not sure. Is there a point to the Website? Absolutely not.

My hope is that this is just the beginning for Mattel. There are so many opportunities, and I feel like this campaign could be so incredible and has all the components to be “viral.” It’s the how Mattel executed that’s missing for me. Fingers crossed that the rest of the year shows a more intriguing campaign.

Posted on February 7, 2011, in Marketing, Pop Culture, social media, Web/Tech and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. As a follow-up, Barbie and Ken are back together on this Valentine’s Day. Check out the video –

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