Branded Content

Case study: Barbie 'MAKERS UK'

Barbie 'Dream Gap' Workshop

The ‘MAKERS UK’ campaign ran for a four month period from March 2019 in partnership with The Story Lab and Mattel. All results shared below are correct as of January 2020.



Starting at the age of five, many girls begin to develop self-limiting beliefs. They begin to think they're not as smart or capable as boys their age. Barbie calls this the ‘Dream Gap.’ Prominent  in most girls’ toy boxes, Mattel wanted Barbie to help close the ‘Dream Gap’.

Speaking to Verizon Media about this challenge, Barbie had two main objectives:

  1. Drive awareness of the Dream Gap amongst UK mums in Barbie’s 60th birthday year
  2. Find a way to tell inspiring female-centric stories that communicate how the brand inspires limited potential in every girl by highlighting diverse, positive role models from a variety of careers typically underrepresented by women


Diverse Insights.

Research showed that modern mothers are less likely than previous generations to buy Barbie for their daughters. We needed to find a way to break down misconceptions around the brand and drive a change amongst mums - who are indeed most often young girls’ biggest supporters.


Premium Content.

One way to help girls achieve their full potential is through role-modelling – introducing them to women from diverse backgrounds and fields who are breaking boundaries. This fit perfectly with the ethos of Yahoo’s MAKERS, a women's leadership platform first launched in the US that tells the stories of groundbreaking women today to inspire the leaders of tomorrow. With Barbie as a new partner, we launched MAKERS UK on Yahoo.

MAKERS UK was supported with bespoke video content including hero interviews with relevant UK ‘makers’ - including Olympic Champion Nicola Adams OBE and supermodel and activist Neelam Gill - sharing their stories. 

Nicola Adams OBE

As part of the sponsorship, we also created a unique commercial video series ‘The Dream Gap Workshop’, featuring women with inspirational careers (Radio One DJ Clara Amfo and writer Nikkita Gill) sharing advice in a studio setting with a young audience.

To drive further engagement, 25 additional articles were commissioned across Yahoo.


Unified ad solutions.

One of Barbie’s key objectives was to bring ‘The Dream Gap’ project to mums. Utilising our diverse and unique first-party data sets - such as search signals and consumption data - we were able to create accurate targeting segments to help Barbie meet their audience. 

Activated through our Ad Platform, we drove users to the MAKERS hub through native ads, editorial promotions and added-value display - with the campaign’s bespoke video distributed across the Verizon Media network.

MAKERS UK on Yahoo


Better business outcomes.

Our campaign with Barbie drove fantastic business outcomes that over-achieved against a number of marketing objectives and KPIs for the brand. 

Exposure to the campaign drove significant increase in key brand metrics amongst their target audience of mums: +32% significant increase in spontaneous awareness and +18% significant increase in association with the key campaign message of “you can be anything”. A further +12% increase was seen in audiences agreeing with the statement that Barbie “is a brand that highlights positive female role models”.

By numbers, the campaign delivered 80M total ad impressions, an impressive 21M ahead of the estimate. Our bespoke content created through RYOT Studio also secured 9.6M video views against an estimate of 1.3M - that’s an increase of 638%.

Results from Barbie 'MAKERS UK' campaign

Julie Jackson, Barbie Senior Brand Manager, Mattel UK said of the campaign: “Our partnership with MAKERS allowed us to amplify our brand purpose and as respected leaders in female empowerment the collaboration enabled us to connect our message with large audiences in new environments in a fresh and effective way to deliver a bigger impact.”

Want to learn more about MAKERS UK or branded content from RYOT Studio? Speak to your Verizon Media rep or email info-uk@verizonmedia.com