How HLabs made its own Barbie interactive marketing campaign in just five days

We set ourselves the challenge of designing and building an interactive hub to showcase our specialist skills and all the creative content many of our clients have been publishing on their channels. 
26 July 2023
5 min read
Barbie Hero Image

Hiya Barbies, Hi Kens,

You want to build your own illustrated Barbie Dreamhouse?

Barbie has been a smash hit at the box office with the newly released film dominating the news headlines and social media feeds over recent weeks. Greta Gerwig’s masterpiece and a genius marketing campaign has created Barbie mania, with brands and creators all over the world jumping at the chance to create their own content. And HLabs was no different! With Barbie manufacturer Mattel being one of our clients we got right into the pink party spirit.

Here’s how we achieved our goal in just one week:

The concept

Our concept needed to be both flexible in its functionality as well as visually exciting - just like the plastic fantastic world of Barbie Land! 

Inspired by this visual and typography, the idea was to design an interactive newspaper spread called Dollhouse Dispatch featuring a variety of columns, sections and scrollable elements to display the content in an engaging way. 

The content featured was picked to help the user immerse themselves in the experience and really feel connected to the Barbie movement. On the page, you’ll see…

  • Illustrated drag and drop house, enabling the user to compose their own house
  • Interactive quiz which acted as a segway to link out to our client’s content in the answers
  • AR filters accessible via QR code to help spread the fun on Instagram 

Social media assets were then created to launch the experience on LinkedIn and Instagram.

Tools, techniques and platforms 

HLabs offers multiple specialist services and this fun internal project was a combination of illustration, animation, art direction, web design, face filter design, project management and editorial. 

Dollhouse Dispatch was then built on our partner platform Ceros while the illustrated ‘build your own Barbie Dreamhouse’ element was brought to life on ReadyMag, another no-code platform we’re partnered with. 

AI and Spark AR were also utilised at points in the creative process.  

Production breakdown

To show just how quickly we can jump on a brief at any moment, here’s an estimated run down of where the time was spent on Dollhouse Dispatch. 

Ideation & wireframes: 1 day

Desktop design & build: 2 days

House illustration: 6 hours

Readymag ‘build your own Barbie Dreamhouse’: 2.5 days 

AR filters (x3): 2 days 

Mobile build: 1/2 a day

Text animation: 2-3 hours

Social assets: 1 day


Dollhouse Dispatch went live the same day as the film on Monday July 24. If you haven’t explored it yet, what are you waiting for?

Check out our dollhouse dispatch

Ready to launch your marketing campaign like a pro? Let's get started.

Need a hand with illustrations, animations, art direction, web design, or editorial? Look no further! Our HLabs crew is a powerhouse of creative geniuses who can to transform your marketing vision into reality. Let's turn those ideas into awe-inspiring creations together!