What Brands Can Learn from Barbie’s Social Video Success

What Brands Can Learn from Barbie’s Social Video Success

Strategy Content Strategy What Brands Can Learn from Barbie’s Social Video Success Share on Over the last few years, Barbie videos have allowed the iconic toy brand to pull a total Benjamin Button-style transformation, manifesting a more youthful and empowered version of itself in the social-video ecosystem. That’s the total number of video views Barbie has hooked to date across her official global social video channels. Here are three main takeaways other brands need to consider: Millennials are key: If you’re getting a lot of engagement from millennials on Facebook in particular, aim to cater the content to both them and their children for that platform. Eyeballs await on many platforms: Though Mattel doesn’t transfer its whole YouTube Barbie library over to Facebook, it does transfer over videos that are resonating especially well. Mattel is also a big proponent of user-generated content (UGC) from Barbie fans. In addition to showing up in Barbie’s top ten most-watched videos of all time (#10), and also claiming the highest 30-day average views, the Facebook version of the ad also made an appearance at #10 in the most-engaged list. “Girls playing with product is a big contributor of short term sales,” Quiroga said. Top 10 Most-Engaged Barbie Videos To Drive Engagement, Know Your Audience Segments and Cater Content To Them Out of the top 10 most-engaged videos across official global Barbie social video channels, six are in languages other than English, including Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian, showing an international demand for Barbie content. While English-based videos have pulled in 2.1B views globally all-time, Spanish is second with 618M views globally. In the case of Barbie videos, viewers who identify as age 20+ call the content their “guilty pleasure,” and confess that they “just can’t stop watching.” Though this millennial engagement may not translate into sales immediately, it could have a potential impact on brand growth.

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Strategy Content Strategy What Brands Can Learn from Barbie’s Social Video Success

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Over the last few years, Barbie videos have allowed the iconic toy brand to pull a total Benjamin Button-style transformation, manifesting a more youthful and empowered version of itself in the social-video ecosystem.

For example, the Barbie brand celebrated its 60th birthday this year, but when it comes to the doll’s online video persona, 60 is the new 4.9 billion! That’s the total number of video views Barbie has hooked to date across her official global social video channels.

In 2018, Barbie manufacturer Mattel landed at #5 across the most-watched brands on video platforms, taking in 1.5 billion views for the year. (Interested in learning how the brand was able to do this? Download our webinar to find out!)

Here are three main takeaways other brands need to consider:

  • Millennials are key: If you’re getting a lot of engagement from millennials on Facebook in particular, aim to cater the content to both them and their children for that platform.
  • Eyeballs await on many platforms: Though Mattel doesn’t transfer its whole YouTube Barbie library over to Facebook, it does transfer over videos that are resonating especially well.
  • Know your social channels: It’s important to track the viewing habits of your social channels and accommodate video length accordingly. On Barbie’s YouTube channel, the most views (3B total) come from videos of 2-5 minutes long. On Facebook, the most views (41.3M total) come from shorter videos of 1-2 minutes each.

The popularity of Barbie videos appears to have a ripple effect on sales.

“It truly has contributed to our bottom line in a big way,” said Quiroga. In 2018, Barbie’s global sales reached a five-year high, surging 14 percent from the year prior, which Mattel attributes to a positive perception of the brand.

“We see the power of video and content for our particular audiences and the proof is in our overall sales and our brand-affinity lift,” Quiroga said.

Now let’s check out Barbie’s story and how she helps Mattel win more customers!

Top 10 Most-Viewed Barbie Videos of All Time

Top 10 most-watched Barbie videos of all time
Top 10 Most-Watched Barbie Videos of All Time, as of April 10, 2019. Data exclusive to Tubular.

Unpacking Barbie’s Social Video Strategy: How Video Helped Facilitate Barbie’s Extreme Makeover into Girl-Power Icon

After decades of criticism from women’s rights groups for Barbie’s supernatural body proportions which reportedly spurred a dip in sales, Barbie has reinvented herself into a female-empowerment icon. And when it comes to this brand identity, video has become the vehicle through which Barbie can talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk.

“Barbie’s purpose is to unlock the unlimited potential in every girl,” said Quiroga.

Of Mattel’s more than 10,000 Barbie videos to date:

  • Most videos were uploaded to 8 different YouTube accounts, where most of Barbie’s views also come from.
  • Barbie on Facebook pulled in the highest 30-day engagement rate at 1.7x (0.7x higher than the average engagement rate on the platform).
  • Out of the top 10 most-watched videos across official global Barbie social video accounts, one is a product demonstration (#2), one is an ad (#10), and the rest are all animated shorts and entertainment.
  • Mattel is also a big proponent of user-generated content (UGC) from Barbie fans. “We love UGC. It’s just extra eyeballs for our brands. It’s a huge driver of our sales,” said Quiroga.

Some of the brand’s key video launches include:

Barbie Vlogger

In 2015, Mattel launched Barbie’s Vlog, with weekly video entries running 1-4 minutes on its Barbie YouTube channel which boasts more than 6M subscribers. The Barbie vlogger is a top girl influencer on YouTube with more than 110M views.

In the vlogs, Barbie addresses issues from self-acceptance to bullying, profiles historical female leaders, and dazzles with DIY craft videos and assorted challenges like the “Ken Does My Makeup Challenge” (which drew in 49K engagements).

The brand’s video messaging marks a 180-degree shift from Mattel’s 1992 Teen Talk Barbie. Mattel was criticized by a national…

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