- Mattel created a pop-up Airbnb listing based on Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse that can be booked for a one-time, two-night stay for up to four guests beginning on Oct. 23, according to a press release. The days available to book are Oct. 27-29. The house costs $60 a night to honor the doll brand's 60th anniversary.
- The mid-century modern house is decked out with features such as an infinity pool that boasts a view of the ocean, a water slide, a personal cinema and a meditation center, per the listing on Airbnb. The house is also decorated with photos of Barbie's historical accomplishments,
- The stay comes with luxurious bonuses including a meet-and-greet with hairstylist Jen Atkin, a hair styling with Mane Addicts Creator Collective, a fencing lesson with medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and a cooking lesson with Malibu Seaside Chef co-owner Gina Clarke-Helm. As part of the partnership, Airbnb is donating to the Barbie Dream Gap Project GoFundMe initiative.
Barbie fans that have always dreamed of visiting the doll's Malibu Dreamhouse now have their chance. On top of the experiential marketing angle, the effort acts as an extension of Mattel's larger push around supporting efforts to reduce the gender pay gap, while playing up the fact that Barbie owns her own home.
The Airbnb page features details about the space, amenities and benefits. The Barbie Dream Gap donation is promoted in the listing, layering in a cause marketing element.
On Barbie's Airbnb profile page, she also promotes herself as an empowered woman and entrepreneur, citing the 200-plus careers she's held across various iterations in her six-decade history. The messaging extends Mattel's attempts to modernize Barbie's image and shake some of brand's reputation for promoting gender stereotypes.
Barbie's Malibu Dreamhouse has been a staple of the line of toys since the early '60s. Translating it into a real location that fans can stay at fits into a broader trend of marketers trying to lean into full-fledged experiences over simply advertising products. Taco Bell deployed the approach this summer by redesigning a hotel in Palm Springs, California, to be entirely themed around its brand, including by selling exclusive apparel.
Barbie is not the first to leverage Airbnb's popularity with consumer groups like millennials to drive appeal for its experiential marketing. Oscar Mayer put its signature Wienermobile to rent on Airbnb in Chicago to coincide with the Lollapalooza musical festival earlier this year. Similarly, Jim Beam Bourbon just listed its first-ever rental property on the Jim Beam distillery grounds.
Barbie's makeover has appeared to help drive business for Mattel at a tough time for retail and the toy category in general. The company bested Q4 expectations earlier this year, in part thanks to strong sales for Barbie and Hot Wheels.