Home Blog Case Studies|Content Strategy|Online marketing strategy The campaign approach to content–and how it’s killing brands (you can thank Barbie)

The campaign approach to content–and how it’s killing brands (you can thank Barbie)


Oh you remember the blitz back in late June. “Entrepeneur Barbie” was everywhere.

Including LinkedIn. Predominantly, LinkedIn, actually.

The new tagline: If you can dream it, you can be it.


Fans could follow Barbie on LinkedIn for business inspiration (don’t laugh), news about her company (what?), and social media updates (I can’t wait to hear what Barbie has to say on social media!!!!!).

I’m hardly alone in my skepticism–see what Forbes had to say about Entrepeneur Barbie.

The whole thing had a huge campaign feel to it. And, according to Barbie/Mattel, since Entrepeneur Barbie was going to be all over LinkedIn now, I should expect a steady stream of content from her, right?

The business inspiration.

The company news.

For God’s sakes, the social media updates!!!!!!!

And what do you think happened?

Not more than two months in and we’ve already seen Entrepeneur Barbie’s content bubble burst.

After a flurry of posts in late June/early July, Babs has only posted three times since then.

And those posts have been pure PR playing up media stories Barbie has been featured in lately.

Oh Barbie, how you disappoint me.

Where is the business inspiration?

Where is the company news? (OK, ONE piece of company news)

Where are the social media updates?!?!?!!??! (I want to know what’s up with you, Barbie!)

I know we’re only a couple months into this, Babs, but the whole thing wreaks of agency campaign approach to me.

Let’s recap, shall we:

* Big, splashy launch. Did I mention Barbie was everywhere in late June?

* Extensive media coverage. Forbes, Mashable, Business Insider. The list is long.

* Big content push. Barbie made 16 updates on LinkedIn in those first few weeks.

Sounds like a campaign launch to me. And, that’s fine. In fact, Mattel did a great job with the launch–again BARBIE WAS EVERYWHERE!

Except, we didn’t see or hear much from Barbie AFTER the campaign launch.

And that’s too bad.

Companies like Mattel put hundreds of thousands of dollars into a launch like this, only to let the momentum slip away month by month because the long-term content strategy dried up.

Now, there are probably a host of reasons for this type of behavior. Money dried up. Lack of long-term vision. Competing priorities internally (or changing priorities).

Regardless, feels like a missed opportunity for Mattel. And, sadly, a movie we’ve seen a number of times before.

So, the next time you’re planning that big product launch, or big content push, take a few moments to think about the long-term content effect for the brand, and your team.

Where are we going to come up with the content?

Who’s going to produce it?

How often are we going to post?

Toward what specific and measurable goal?

I can’t believe I’m saying this. It’s 2014 folks. Haven’t we learned by now?



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