Barbie Bubble-tastic Mermaid Original Video Production & Online Media Campaign

Barbie Bubble-tastic Mermaid Case Study

The Ask

Mattel asked longtime partner AvatarLabs to create a video-based online media campaign to help launch their Barbie Bubble-tastic Mermaid doll. Since we love mermaids, Barbie, and bubbles, they came to the right place!

For years, Mattel created most of their online media ads to target kids. They would then repurpose the same images and on-air spots to create new assets that targeted parents. This often resulted in commercials, banners, and print executions that didn't feel quite on target, especially for millennial moms.

Our Strategy

After watching one of Mattel’s internal branding videos that featured adorable girls enjoying natural play, our first reaction was “awwww.” After coming down from our cute overload, our second reaction was, “this is exactly what’s needed for their Barbie Bubble-tastic ad units – a custom video that evokes an emotional response in adults by showing kids at play.”

Rather than rework kid-targeted assets, we suggested Mattel create an online media campaign that was mom-targeted from the start. The units would be aspirational, run in placements targeted to moms, and be presented in a language that moms everywhere would understand.

Our strategic POV struck a nerve in Mattel's executive suite, and after reviewing a test lifestyle shoot we shot and edited in-house, they gave us the go-ahead to create custom video that would be used in video banners and pre-roll placements where mom came first.

The Challenge

Mattel didn’t have an on-air budget or a lot of experience in creating digital video content geared toward moms. In fact, this was the first time the Barbie team was making a mom-targeted spot.

Since Barbie is one of the world’s premiere toy brands, we had to approach the Barbie Bubble-tastic Mermaid doll with just the right tone and style while being efficient with the budget and creating a finished product for the web that had the same polished quality of an on-air spot.

Our Execution

Because everything starts with an idea, we first developed and storyboarded four unique concepts for the online video campaign. When Mattel picked the one that was also our favorite, we knew we were heading in the right direction.

To help produce the shoot, we hired a production company that had a lot of experience working with big brands. Together, we found efficiencies in the budget such as reasonably priced locations, wardrobe, casting, and by hiring a director who was experienced in working with children.

Before shooting began, we worked in lock step with Mattel’s North American Barbie marketing team, their marketing communications department, their media team, and with their media agency Starcom to help us shape and craft the units to their specifications. Then, when the shoot was finished, we hired an editor to cut the video while our in-house team created all the motion graphics and did the sound mixing.

From pitch to completion the process was complete in just over 4 weeks.

The Results

The video was a huge hit with Mattel stakeholders and was flexible enough to be used in all video ad units and pre-roll placements. AvatarLabs’ strategic POV has helped transform the way Mattel approaches its online advertising. From now on, custom video will be the new normal for their adult-targeted digital campaigns.