The box office success of “Barbie” appeared to inspire one activist actress to a viral marketing spoof convincing enough to fool corporate media.
The campaign featuring Daryl Hannah dropped Tuesday with a commercial, website and social media profiles promoting a supposed new line of Mattel dolls incorporating a fungi pun dubbed MyCelia Eco Warrior Edition.
Promoting her own environmental activist track record, Hannah lamented the use of plastics and expressed, “Barbie and I are about the same age except, she will never die.”
The video press release went on to claim, “I am proud to announce that by 2030 all Mattel toys will be plastic-free, starting with the iconic Barbie doll…Mattel will also support the federal ban on all plastics in kids’ toys and on single-use plastics.”
So convincing was the viral campaign that a spokesperson for the toy company issued a statement reported by the New York Post, “This is a hoax and has nothing to do with Mattel or any of its products.”
Of course, the reality came after outlets like People and the Washington Times had reportedly already run articles treating the launch as a legitimate decision, forcing them to pull the stories.
Duped by the hoax campaign the Times removed their article and posted an editor’s note that it was “based on an elaborate media hoax involving spoofed email addresses, a faked press release, doctored images, fictitious quotations and a YouTube video that appears to show actress Daryl Hannah announcing the new product line.”
People had included quotes attributed to Hannah in their story where the actress stated, “I am honored to join forces with Mattel in their visionary efforts to create a better world through play.”
“Barbie has changed in many ways since I was a girl, but under the surface, she’s still toxic. Now, when she’s done being used, instead of persisting forever as a poison Barbie will be able to return to the earth, just like all living things,” she went on. “I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting journey.”
A commercial for the dolls that were said to be made of mushrooms, algae and hemp, among other biodegradable materials, featured dolls that included Greta Thunberg with a protest sign, Just Stop Oil activist Phoebe Plummer with a tomato soup can like the one she threw on Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” last year and one of Hannah herself.
— MyCeliaBarbie (@MyCeliaBarbie) August 1, 2023
“Pussy Riot masks sold separately,” the ad concluded after showing girls, made up to look like the Russian band imprisoned for two years for protesting their President Vladimir Putin, hurling a Molotov cocktail at an image of the leader.
Pussy Riot joined in promoting the campaign and posted a video with two masked individuals allegedly speaking for the “Barbie Liberation Organization.”
“This is a message for Mattel and every other company: Stop making plastic crap,” the duo proclaim. “You are ruining our future. Stop pink washing your environmental crimes.”
“I love animals. I love the planet. Don’t take them from us. I think adults should just stop messing with our future,” one said before they announced in unison. “The Barbie Liberation Organization has spoken.”
DIRECT ACTION BARBIE
The Yes Men x Daryl Hannah @dhlovelife x Pussy Riot x @BarbieLiberator come together to call Mattel to go fully plastic-free, and created eco-warrior barbies made or mushrooms – dolls of @GretaThunberg, Daryl Hannah, Pussy Riot and others freedom… pic.twitter.com/LTyiEsaBy2
— (@pussyrrriot) August 1, 2023
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