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This Barbie Shares Her Marketing Insights

Pink is back. Barbie is breaking the internet. And we can all take some notes.

The marketing strategy behind The Barbie Movie is far from just another campaign: it’s a masterclass in reinvention, nostalgia-tapping, and trendsetting. Barbie’s got the world wrapped around her perfectly-manicured finger, and the original queen of makeovers is rewriting the rules of the game. There’s a lot to learn from this plastic powerhouse, so ready your pens – preferably pink ones.

This Barbie Gets It

The Barbie Movie is a great reminder that marketers are the curators of culture and the guiding hand on the wheel of pop culture. In a time when content is currency and influence is bought, it takes an intrinsic understanding of the marketing landscape, current events, and the nuances of digital trends for a campaign to succeed. But it takes something truly special to create a seismic shift in our culture like the Barbie Movie did. 

In the world of marketing, success often boils down to one simple truth: you either “get it” or you don’t. This is what The Barbie Movie feels like — marketing by people who truly “get it”.

The team behind Barbie anticipated every move before we even contemplated it. They foresaw every partnership before @girlbosstown could create a viral video about it. They harnessed AI and ignited social media trends that took on lives of their own. They designed immersive experiences to integrate their brand into consumers’ lives and collaborated with industry giants to ensure no corner of culture was untouched by Barbie’s magic. The team behind Barbie didn’t just ride the wave of the next big thing – they created it. 

This Barbie Casts a Wide Net

The Barbie marketing gurus mastered the art of the perfect alliance. They evoked the nostalgic sentiment attached to the brand while staying dialed in to the ever-evolving industry trends, elevating Barbie from a mere plaything into a universal symbol that resonates across generations and demographics. 

The Barbie team did not just stick to old school print ads or solely vye for partnerships with key players like Alix Earle; their marketing campaign was comprehensive and versatile, catering to various tastes, from high fashion to fast food. Pink billboards announcing the premiere date donned the sides of interstates, stores packed their windows to the brim with pink promotion, and global landmarks like Dubai’s skyline became part of their grand strategy. Burger King even jumped on board with pink burgers. One thing quickly became undeniable: Barbie-core was summer’s hottest trend. 

This Barbie Has Brand Deals

We live in an era where content reigns supreme, and brands that embrace this reality with open arms are reaping the rewards. A like on social media is not just a thumbs-up, it’s a currency. And who you align yourself with is paramount – something the marketers at Mattel took seriously. Breaking from her plastic confines to reclaim her popularity, Barbie quickly became an all-pervasive influencer in 2023, adorning pop culture in hues of pink with a formidable portfolio of over 100 global brand collaborations. 

Fancy a tour of Barbie’s Mansion? Sit back and enjoy one of the coveted Architectural Digest tours of the home. 

Craving a Barbie-esque wardrobe? Head over to any of Barbie’s numerous fashion collaborations. From Hot Topic tees to Barefoot Dreams loungewear — this Barbie has range and style. Our favorite was definitely the Béis x Barbie collection, no surprise there.

Yearning for a Barbie lifestyle? Dive into functional products from Béis, Polaroid, Moon, Progressive, and more. Or, book the Barbie Mansion on Airbnb.

Desire a Barbie makeover? Tap into the power of AI with TikTok filters to transform into your Barbie alter ego, or shop beauty products from partnerships with NYX, OPI, and more.

The team behind the Barbie Movie ingeniously orchestrated partnerships with a myriad of companies, catapulting the brand to the top of every social media feed, “For You” Page, and email inbox. Before the movie even premiered, Barbie was a part of our everyday life again; from our phones, to our commutes, to the stores we shop at — and everyone was talking about it. Whether the dialogue was about reclaiming hyperfemininity or the latest pink food fad, Barbie was the hot topic, and everyone wanted to be a part of the conversation. 

Content is king, as they say. 

This Barbie Can’t Be Kept in a Box

But it wasn’t just talk — The Barbie Movie’s marketing invited us into Barbie’s universe — and we wanted in. There, the pink lines of play and reality blur, transcending barriers and re-attaching meaningful moments and memories to the brand. 

Like it or loathe it, Barbie has conquered the world. Forget the box office numbers, although impressive, the real feat is the way in which Barbie wove itself back into the fabric of pop culture. That is the mark of true success, and that is what great marketing does. 

From elderly couples purchasing matching pink ensembles, to Google pink-ifying their homepage, to Mattel’s stock climbing 20% in the last months — it is clear that Barbie touched something within all of us, and whether that is capitalism or that is great marketing – we have all been paying attention.

The Barbie once forgotten in the depths of our childhood toy bins has been resurrected, capturing our hearts once more and sparking the thrill of movie-going. But, The Barbie Movie is more than a cinematic offering; it’s a cultural tidal wave, a unifying phenomenon, and a perfect case study for the influence of marketing on the pop culture zeitgeist.

The Barbie Movie didn’t just break the internet; it broke the mold, and I am excited to see who follows suit. 

Written by Julia Gagliano

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