Ken left Barbie

All our lifetime we thought Barbie is just a sweet innocent doll. Well apparently she’s a criminal. She has destroyed rainforests for her toy packaging. Her manufacturer Mattel was using products from Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), a pulp and paper company notorious for destroying Indonesian rainforests, including the habitat of the endangered Sumatran tiger. Yesterday we were shown in class the Greenpeace campaign that got Mattel to change his way of packing Barbie.

I personally knew the campaign and thought it was brilliant. The idea was simple, yet creative and it succeeded. The main goal was to draw attention to the toy industry’s use of glossy cardboard packaging whose pulp is partly sourced from Indonesian rainforests. Greenpeace International investigations have also established links between leading toy brands, such Mattel, Disney and Lego and APP.

Focusing its efforts on Barbie and Ken, the most famous toys from Mattel, helped Greenpeace to draw attention on Mattel’s partner – APP. The marketing strategy involved using a hilarious ‘Barbie, It’s Over’ campaign. It included a quarrel between the 2 characters, an interview with Ken, photos of Barbie handling a chainsaw and many more. There were also banners of Ken protesting against Mattel’s use of Indonesian rainforest wood.

The success of this campaign was not limited to just a lot of media interest, but it also had a lot of activity online on Facebook, Twitter and so on. In addition to this, consumers also sent over half a million emails to Mattel in which they expressed their disagreement with the Mattel-APP contract. They said that they want Mattel to “immediately implement a new procurement policy for all pulp and paper products, including packaging, and make sure that its products are made in ways that don’t damage the environment.”



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