Barbie’s Marketing, Now Too Powerful To Stop, Tramples Dubai – The Drum

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July 26, 2023 | 3 min read
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The CGI billboard trend ramps up a gear with Godzilla-esque Barbie seemingly destroying Dubai.
3D Barbie takes over the streets of Dubai
With the advent of new technology, agencies can get more ambitious in their advertising efforts. As part of the Barbie fan marketing activations, a 3D simulated model of Barbie was shared on social trampling through Dubai, next to the Burj Khalifa.
The stunt showed Barbie stepping out of a huge box in her iconic striped swimsuit and black sunglasses to strike a pose revealing that it is truly Barbie’s world, and we’re just living in it.
The clip, which was shot on an iPhone, was created by the UAE-based agency Eye Studio. The agency was tasked to superimpose Barbie next to the world’s tallest building. Thankfully, it’s just an in-footage trick, although some earned media claimed people were scared of the digital installation.
It’s the latest in a string of simulated out-of-home ads following the recent Maybelline eyelashes stunt in London and Adidas Messi billboard following the World Cup win.
Creatives have been divided over the rise of these fake ads and if they harm the craft or are just a bit of fun. Especially those working in the out-of-home advertising space who wonder if fake outdoor ads are competing with them for spend.
Creative director at Amplify, Jordan Dale jokes: “Did people think that John Lewis actually sent a man to the moon in 2015? Is Tom Holland actually living as Spiderman in New York City? Does a TikTok face filter actually change my face?”

The stunt is one of literally thousands of marketing activations as Barbiemania grips the industry.
UPDATE: After publication Warner Bros disclosed that the ad was not part of the official movie marketing.
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