HALO.com Spring 2016 Scholarship Winning Essay

Congratulations to Anna Grace G., a student from the University of Georgia, for winning the HALO Spring 2016 Scholarship Contest. As Anna works her way towards second semester, she will be awarded with a $3,000 scholarship towards her studies in Agriculture Economics and Agriculture Business. Her hope is to one day work as a consultant for large farming operations, helping them present an optimized image to the public. You can read her winning essay below.

Essay topic: Describe and evaluate a situation where marketing has positively affected the relationship(s) between a business or organization and its customer(s) and/or employees.


Tom Fishburne once said “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” If that is the case, Mattel’s latest Barbie campaign is pure genius. On January 28, 2016, Barbie announced an expansion of its Fashionistas line to add three new, more realistic, body types for Barbie dolls. The additions include tall Barbie, curvy Barbie and petite Barbie. The line also added varying skin tones, eye colors and hairstyles. This more personalized approach has done wonders for their public image and monetary gains.

While Barbie’s career aspirations, accessories and fashions were constantly evolving, her
body was not. In a world full of Photoshopped magazine covers and unrealistic beauty standards, Barbie was just another unattainable goal, until, one day, she wasn’t. “We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty,” said Evelyn Mazzocco, senior vice president and global general manager of Barbie, in a company statement. Barbie is now a more encompassing example of the many roles she already played.

Most notable to a consumer like myself is the improved public view of Barbie. My
Facebook timeline was flooded with both official and unofficial statements regarding the new dolls. I was tickled to see a petite Barbie to match my own frame, having always been envious of original Barbie’s mile-long legs that I would never possess. It seems as though everyone is excited to have a doll that resembles a woman they know instead of Barbie’s original unrealistic proportions.

Social media played a HUGE role in Barbie’s success with Mattel’s “Imagine the Possibilities” video, which garnered 50 million views, 1.2 million shares and a staggering 700 million global PR impressions. The buzz did not stop there. The “Evolution of Barbie” video raked in over 29.6 million views in addition to 1.3 million engagements including likes, shares and comments. Most notable was the 5.6 BILLION global PR impressions with over 5,000 stories published regarding the new dolls.

Global impressions are valuable in their own regard, but I feel as though the true proof of
impeccable marketing is in the numbers — especially dollars. Not only did Goldman Sachs
upgrade stock from neutral to buy, but it soared. Mattel stock sat at $22.23 per share on launch date and now hovers at roughly $32. I believe Paul R. La Monica put it best when he said “If there were such a thing as a Hedge Fund Manager Barbie doll, she’d be pretty happy today if she owned Mattel stock.” At this rate, I am sure Hedge Fund Manager Barbie is just around the corner.

Success stories like Barbie are hard to forget. BBDO’s Barbie campaign worked because
it didn’t come across as marketing. It came across as hope for the next generation, an answer to long forgotten childhood prayers of a now adult mother with a daughter looking for a doll that looked like the girl staring back at her in the mirror. Barbie’s campaign is deeply personal. To have a Barbie, the world’s most recognizable beauty symbol, that looks like YOU, is priceless. BBDO, the marketing firm responsible for this campaign, will not soon forget how wildly successful their ideas became, having garnered many accolades for their efforts.

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