Staff Reporters
Nov 4, 2019

STB teams up with unlikely mascot in new campaign

The tourism board has joined forces with Barbie to spotlight local talent.

The Barbie showcase at SCAPE in Singapore
The Barbie showcase at SCAPE in Singapore

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has partnered with Barbie in line with the board’s ‘Passion Made Possible’ and ‘You Can Be Anything’ marketing campaigns. The partnership will cover three areas: 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.

From left: Josiah Chua's tribute to Singapore uses culinary ingredients; Onlewo's Barbie is inspired by Peranakan motifs

The Barbie doll showcase made its debut last weekend at the Street Superior Festival and featured the original works of 18 local creatives and design brands from a range of design disciplines including illustration, embroidery, and fashion design. Among them were fashion designer and stylist Josiah Chua, and lifestyle brand Onlewo, as well as Jian Yang, whose collection of some 12,000 Barbie dolls ranks among the world’s largest.

The artists and designers were tasked to customise outfits for Barbie dolls inspired by Singapore culture, street culture or other unique ideas. For instance, Chua was inspired by flowers and spices commonly found in local cuisine and used turmeric, roselle and butterfly pea flowers to dye fabric and create miniature gowns for two dolls.

The brand video, meanwhile, is inspired by Barbie’s purpose to empower young girls. The video features three young girls, aged 8 to 11, each dreaming of a career in baking, fashion and with animals.

Each girl is paired with a 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.

Finally, for the social media contest, a month-long contest will be organised where participants are encouraged to guess the location of tourist attractions around Singapore that Barbie ‘visits’. Barbie hampers and Merli (Singapore’s mythical animal mascot) plushies are up for grabs.

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