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STB and Barbie ink marketing deal to shine spotlight on local talents and inspire young girls

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has teamed up with toy company Mattel’s Barbie to profile home-grown talents and showcase brand campaigns – Passion Made Possible and You Can Be Anything – to life through these talents’ inspirational stories.

The marketing partnership covers three areas such as a showcase of 60 Barbie dolls in customised outfits created by 18 local creatives and design brands; a brand video; and a social media contest. The collaboration marks the first between both brands in Singapore, and is in line with Barbie’s 60th anniversary this year.

In a bid to empower girls through personal narrative, the brand video features three young girls between the ages 8 and 11, dreaming of a career in baking, fashion or with animals. Each girl is paired with a talented woman in her dream career, namely Plain Vanilla Bakery founder Vanessa Kenchington, YeoMama Batik co-founder Desleen Yeo, and Singapore Zoo’s first female elephant keeper Nursyafiqah Mohamed Yusof. The pairs represent the “Foodie, Collector, and Explorer” Passion Tribes respectively.

In the video, the girls shadow these women at work to discover what fuelled their passions. This comes in line with Barbie’s purpose since 1959 to inspire the limitless potential in every girl. Through this video, STB and Mattel aim to inspire viewers and build greater brand affinity among target segments – families with young children and early careers.

In a joint statement to Marketing, Lim Shoo Ling, brand director, Singapore Tourism Board and Christine Chan, marketing manager, Girls, Mattel Southeast Asia said STB’s Passion Made Possible global campaign was built around supporting and celebrating home-grown talents, personality and brands, which is similar to Barbie’s “You Can Be Anything” campaign. “You Can Be Anything” sheds light on women and local talents breaking boundaries in their respective fields, to further empower women and girls to explore and realise their potential.

According to Lim and Chan, both parties aim to appeal to the Collector Passion Tribe through this partnership, to provide these individuals an insight into the breadth and depth of Singapore’s retail and design scene. Apart from building awareness of STB’s “Passion Made Possible” and Barbie’s “You Can Be Anything” branding, both parties also aim to showcase the retail scene, profile the local community of artists and designers, as well as inspire young girls and women to explore their potential.

To create more hype among locals, STB and Barbie will also be organising a month-long social media contest with the hashtag #BarbieVisitsSingapore. Barbie will visit six tourist attractions around Singapore, and participants will be invited to guess the location and state why they would love to visit it. “We also want to highlight our diverse tourism offerings through the social media contest, which encourages visitors to discover and explore various places of interests in Singapore,” both Lim and Chan said.

Meanwhile, STB and Barbie is also pushing for more visitors to The Barbie doll exhibition at *SCAPE. The showcase will debut on 2 November and can be accessed by members of the public from 4 to 30 November. The Barbie doll showcase will features the original works of 18 local creatives and design brands, hailing from a range of design disciplines, including illustration, embroidery, and fashion design. Among them includes fashion designer and stylist Josiah Chua, and lifestyle brand Onlewo, as well as Jian Yang.

According to STB, the artists and designers were set a challenge to push the boundaries of their creativity and customise outfits for Barbie dolls inspired by Singapore culture, street culture or other unique ideas. Josiah Chua turned to flowers and spices commonly found in local cuisine, using turmeric, roselle and butterfly pea flowers to dye fabric and create miniature gowns for two dolls.

Meanwhile, Onlewo created Peranakan-inspired outfits for three dolls, using their signature prints and patterns. Jian Yang took a local twist to the Barbie outfits with the little things Singaporeans appreciate. These include the brown paper usually used to pack dishes, the merlion plastic bag, as well as Good Morning towels.

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