Greenpeace activists have used YouTube, Flickr, and Facebook to "announce" that the relationship of Ken and Barbie is over allegations, part of a protest over toy company Mattel's use of rainforest-sourced paper pulp in its packaging.
In the animated video, released on the internet today, Barbie's long-time boyfriend Ken is shown dumping Barbie for the cause after viewing a YouTube video of Barbie cutting down forests, thus endangering clouded leopards, Sumatran tigers, and orangutans.
The group hopes to provoke outrage among Barbie's animal-loving preteen girl fans — 2.2 million of whom "Like" Barbie on Facebook.
Greenpeace is also setting up a fake Twitter account for Ken, who in the YouTube video appears visibly distressed at how his perfect partner has turned into an alleged environmental vandal, the Sydney Morning Herald writes.
"I don't date girls that are into deforestation," runs the line in the video. To launch the campaign, Greenpeace unfurled a banner at Mattel's headquarters in El Segundo, California that read: "Barbie, it's over."
Viral elements of the campaign include Ken's "own" Facebook page (set up by Greenpeace), featuring an "Angry Ken" profile pic and the e-mails of Mattel executives, PC World reports.
Last year Greenpeace ran a successful campaign against Nestle when it released a graphic YouTube video of an office worker inadvertently biting into an orang-utan finger instead of a Kit Kat, to raise awareness of the clearing of rainforests for palm plantations.
Greenpeace has also targeted Apple and game console makers Nintendo and Sony for what it has called dirty manufacturing practices and use of toxic materials, PC World reports.
Earlier this year, Mattel "reunited" Ken and Barbie after a much-publicized "break up" in 2004 as a way of boosting sales of the plastic figurines, according to the SMH.