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26 September 2011

Barbie's Fashion Night Out in NYC

Keeping a brand fresh and fashionable is always a challenge, but even more so when your target market have limited attention spans and are lightening quick to embrace the newest trend. Mattel has started taking a grown up approach to marketing by embracing social media and interacting with an older audience to increase Barbie's relevance for the modern woman.

Fashion's Night Out 
Fashion's Night Out (FNO) was started by Anna Wintour (Editor-in-Chief of Vogue) and designer Diane Von Furstenberg in 2009 as a way to bring designers, retailers and customers together for NY Fashion Week. Their goal was to create buzz for fashion while avoiding the endless discounting mentality that the recession had created. The FNO vehicle created unique events where retailers, celebs and designers mingle with consumers. It has grown into thousands of events across America and globally.

Barbie's FNO Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger Hunt Barbie's dressed in designer's outfits and QR codes 
During the 2011 FNO Barbie held a scavenger hunt for her fans and favourite designers. Participants had to search out Barbie's dressed in doll-sized versions of designer's clothes. The dolls were tracked down through clues releases on BarbieLovesFNO.com and on Barbie's Facebook and Twitter pages. When found the hunter could scan a QR code to enter to win a life-sized version of the outfit.

Hop-on-hop-off Barbie buses transported the Scavenger hunters around New York
The one-off dolls are now being sold on Charity Buzz.Each is expected to raise approx US$3,000 for charity. 

Barbie's Social Stats 
There is definietly an audience waiting to connect with Barbie and hear her advice on fashion (and it's not all pink, pink pink on barbieblog.com!)

  • Twitter (@barbiestyle) - 72,090 followers 
  • Facebook (facebook.com/barbie) - 2,592,942 fans 
  • YouTube (youtube.com/barbie) - 6,748 subscribers (Over 600k views on the "Barbie and Ken are back together" video!) 
  • Foursquare (foursquare.com/barbie) - 3,270 followers 

Video Girl 
But how many 20-30 somethings would actually buy a Barbie? Where's the connection to creating actual sales? The event was used to promote the launch Barbie's latest career "Video Girl" - a Barbie with an actual working camera installed inside her!

Photos sourced from Barbie Loves FNO

Author Profile: Nicole Williams

A self-professed geek with an insatiable appetite for learning. While completing a BCA in Marketing and Commercial Law at Victoria University, Nicole worked her way up from an entry-level position to Marketing Manager (in just 3 years). She created The Envy Collection to showcase clever and inspiring advertising and marketing ideas.  

Connect with Nicole on Twitter - @envycollect


  1. It's about time, corporations adopt social media, especially for a brand as powerful as Barbie.

    Back in the day, when Barbie had a birthday -- maybe she turned 30, I "attacked" her daily heel wearing as poor foot health in a media campaign on behalf of a client in the podiatric surgical sector!

    The docs were really ticked off the media wanted to talk about Barbie instead of titanium toe implants!!

  2. Hi Soulati, thanks for dropping by! Interesting point, perhaps Mattel's intention is to change these perceptions. Establishing Barbie as a positive role model in the minds of adults - who after all buy the product!