Campaigns: Consumer - 'Come on Barbie, let's go birthday party'

Campaign: Barbie's 50th birthday
Client: Mattel
PR team: Ogilvy PR
Timescale: January-February 2009
Budget: EUR45,000

2009 marks the 50th birthday of the world's favourite doll. Mattel asked Ogilvy to help kick off the party in Europe with a big bang at the International Toy Fair, Nuremberg.


- To focus media attention on Barbie's 50th birthday

- To dominate the news agenda at the toy industry's biggest event

- To increase Barbie sales.

Strategy and plan

Ogilvy rounded up models styled to look just like Barbie over several decades to pose on the Barbie stand at the show, along with archive material. Spokesperson interviews were offered. Ogilvy also created a website to host a press release and broadcast quality video content, and provide links to editorial content on Barbie.

Measurement and evaluation

Coverage appeared on more than 70 TV and online media outlets including CNN, CNBC and the BBC as well as major news networks in Sweden, Finland and Belgium. Footage appeared on TV and online in China, Venezuela, Australia, the US, Italy and the UK. In total the story generated more than three hours of coverage and reached an audience of more than 178 million.


Local Barbie websites in key European markets received 290,000 website hits each in February and March, and Barbie sales increased by eight per cent.

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