Video of giant Barbie next to Burj Khalifa goes viral

Dubai social media agency thinks outside the box for Instagram clip

3D video of a giant Barbie near Burj Khalifa goes viral in UAE

3D video of a giant Barbie near Burj Khalifa goes viral in UAE
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Fans in the UAE may be waiting until August 31 for Barbie to arrive on the big screen in the Emirates, but many are being treated to an even grander arrival from the doll.

A 3D video showing a giant Barbie walking out of her pink packaging and standing next to Burj Khalifa has been viewed more than three million times since it was posted on Instagram on Friday.

The CGI clip shows the popular Mattel doll dressed in a zebra-print swimsuit with a topknot ponytail and sunglasses, similar to the one the first Barbie doll wore when she made her debut in 1959.

Juhi Rupani, creative director of Eye Studio, which created the video, says she's been blown away by the positive response.

"I've never seen anything like it," she tells The National. "We are a boutique social media agency in Dubai and we've never, ever seen this kind of reaction to any of our content."

Rupani, who co-founded the company with her mother Simrrun Rupani, five years ago, says she and her team came up with the video during their daily brainstorming sessions.

"As a social media agency, we're always thinking about what's trending, and everyone is currently talking about Barbie," she says. "So we thought of doing something around an iconic product and putting her next to the most iconic landmark in Dubai."

The 12-second video took about three days to create using footage of Burj Khalifa shot on an iPhone, which was then superimposed with the animated Barbie.

Eye Studio's Neal Santos, a 3D generalist, and Taha Dungerwala, a junior art director, were tasked with the project.

"The first thing that crossed our mind while making it was we kind of wanted to pay homage to the beginning and stay close to how the very first Barbie doll ever created looked back in 1959," they say. "When it came to location, after going back and forth we decided nothing beats the Burj Khalifa."

Rupani, whose company counts Orfali Bros Bistro, named the No 1 restaurant in Mena's 50 Best Restaurants, as one of its clients, says the video amassed one million views in a mere 24 hours.

"It's our most viewed content ever," she says. "I wish I could give you an explanation as to what happened with the algorithm, but the truth is we don’t know what happened."

Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie in the titular role, Barbie has already made $356.3 million globally, earning the biggest opening-weekend record of the year and also the first weekend record for a film directed by a woman.

Updated: July 26, 2023, 5:50 AM