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Barbie Puts Her Malibu Dreamhouse on the Market

Barbie Mattel movingDid you know that Barbie split up with longtime beau Ken in 2004–or that her latest job descriptions include “computer engineer” and “architect“? (Paging Art Vandelay…)

Neither did we! Apparently the best-known property of the world’s biggest toy brand, Mattel, has been very active on social media while charting her steady climb up the career ladder. Girl power!

The company’s latest attempt to rekindle interest and pump up the sales numbers for everyone’s favorite “natural” blonde may also be its most elaborate. The centerpiece of this rebranding exercise–which will be managed by HL Group on the PR end–is Barbie’s decision to put her famous Malibu Dreamhouse up for sale (and no, we don’t mean the crazy life-size replica). It seems that Ken’s lady is looking to make a big move–but where will she go? Manhattan? Las Vegas? San Francisco? SALT LAKE CITY?!?!

It’s up in the air! And the campaign will include pretty much every element of the new interactive marketing/PR equation.

A “dream team” of interior designers will “advise” Barbie on her next move–let’s hope they choose wisely!

Beyond traditional print ads, Mattel plans to heavily push the digital campaign via Barbie’s Facebook page, her sharp Twitter feed and the final “season” of a CGI video series called “Life in the Dreamhouse” (not to mention free publicity via real estate blogs like Curbed, who are very amused by the concept). The Barbie team has also created an “experiential marketing” project that Stuart Elliott at The New York Times describes as “a touring exhibition” called “The Barbie Dreamhouse Experience”–because we would love to check out Barbie’s powder room and shoe closet.

We get the sense that this campaign is aimed at both young girls and their moms. Why?

Well, our favorite aspect of the project is Mattel’s partnership with real estate site/app maker Trulia, which includes a funny listing for Barbie’s 8,500 square foot “single family home”. The company even “hired” Josh Altman of Million Dollar Listing to serve as her realtor. The listing initially included a specific address, which the company removed because “We didn’t want all the tourists to drive by and bother our favorite doll”. Ha!

One question for Altman: $25 million is a totally reasonable price for beachfront property, right?

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