LES announced the recipients of its Deals of Distinction™ Awards in four industry sectors: Brands As A Business, High-Tech, Industry-University-Government Interface and Life Sciences. The annual program, now in its nineteenth year, recognizes companies that orchestrate the year’s most outstanding licensing and business deals in each sector. The awards were presented during the LES Annual Meeting Business Luncheon on October 16, 2023. Several key dealmakers were on hand to provide insights on their winning deals.

Mattel Partners with Virtual Brand Group (VBG) To Create Barbie Metaverse Fashion – 1 of 4

Dealmakers: Virtual Brand Group + Mattel

Why it won…

Brian Buss, LES Brands as a Business Sector Chair, announces the Deals of Distinction Award going to Virtual Brand Group and Mattel.

Brian Buss, LES Brands as a Business Sector Chair, announces the Deals of Distinction Award going to Virtual Brand Group and Mattel.

Barbie was the center of this summer’s pop culture zeitgeist. Mattel’s marketing was ubiquitous, joyous and innovative, reaching beyond the physical world into the virtual. Mattel partnered with the Virtual Brand Group (VBG), which created and distributed the world’s first AI-designed metaverse Barbie fashion collection. VBG is a multi-award-winning agency that was founded to strategically empower brands and IP holders to easily leverage metaverse technology into new marketing and sales channels, which also amplify existing physical, e-commerce and digital efforts, delivering a higher ROI.

The AI Barbie line was exclusively distributed on Roblox, the social gaming platform with 65M daily consumers, who spend on average 78 hours a month on the platform, more time than on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram combined.

VBG strategically built the Barbie program around three innovations that delivered unprecedented results.

First, using artificial intelligence, it prototyped the entire fashion line in a few hours. This cut costs by 94% and delivered the final products at 99% more sustainable than a typical physical retail collection.

Second, through VBG’s partnership with Forever 21, who simultaneously created their own unique Barbie fashion collaboration, we combined marketing activations connecting both the physical and virtual worlds. This enabled consumers to #TwinWithTheirAvatar” (owning the same physical and virtual Barbie outfit).

Finally, VBG built the first virtual retail network created with an interactive “Pop-Up” shop distributed across Roblox in over 250 of its most popular games. In only eight weeks, 313M people engaged with the Barbie virtual products. This program delivered a marketing Return On Investment 3x higher than any other digital media platform.

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