It's been seven years since America's plastic power couple, Ken and Barbie, broke up, on Valentine's Day 2004. In the time since Barbie kicked her neutered boy toy to the curb, Ken has been "revamping his life—mind, body, and soul" in an attempt to win back his beloved. With Ken's 50th anniversary and the release of an updated "ultimate boyfriend" doll coming up, Mattel has launched a blitzkrieg marketing campaign across numerous social media platforms in an attempt to increase Ken's popularity—and help him win Barbie back by Valentine's Day.
BarbieandKen.com chronicles Ken's progress, allowing users to vote on whether Barbie should take back her ex. As love-scorned men do, he's taken to Facebook to publicly express his love:
Ken's also devoted his Twitter stream, which chronicles everything from his thoughts on the Lakers game to Esquire articles, to the cause. He's made pleas on FourSquare—this check-in at the MoMA, for example: "Barbie could spend hours looking at the timeless art, and I could spend hours looking at Barbie."
Mashable has an exhaustive, brilliant run-down of the extensive marketing campaign, analyzing how Mattel is using YouTube, reality TV, Match.com, and more to parlay the fictional romance into toy sales. And, as BarbieandKen.com teases, "Stay tuned as Ken fights to win Barbie's heart back, one grand gesture at a time."
Read the full story at Mashable.
Of course, Ken probably won over most of his fans with his breakout turn in this summer's Toy Story 3: