From its amassed box office collection of $194.3 million to attracting more than 100 promotional partners, Barbie has become the sensation of the year. Directed by Greta Gerwig, the movie showcases a stellar cast, a stylised aesthetic, and a unique way of bringing Barbie’s dream world to life.
However, what’s more impressive is its indefinitely generous marketing campaign. According to resources, Barbie’s estimated marketing budget of US$150 million surpassed the movie-making cost of US$145 million.
With its enormous budget, the pink wave has conquered the entire planet. Thanks to its impactful and relevant marketing tactics, people, brands, and businesses worldwide are hopping onto the Barbie trend.
“It’s Plastic & Fantastic” is ruling over everywhere. From massive brand collaborations to a gigantic Barbie dreamhouse, the Barbie team has left no stone unturned to make the movie a smashing hit. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it has broken box office records and all trends.
As we pay homage and respect to the powerful Barbie marketing team, here are 11 Barbie marketing highlights of how the team has brought to life the world’s most iconic fashion doll.
1. The Barbie AI Selfie-Generator
Barbie‘s marketing campaign began with a unique AI poster maker, where users can use a template to look like a Barbie movie character. In true Barbie fashion, the Barbie Selfie Generator overlays your photo on a sparkling starburst background with the movie’s title reflected on it. This way, you can transform your selfie into a movie star poster.
After a full rundown of Barbie’s impressive cast, Warner Bros. released this AI selfie generator to encourage users to be part of the movie. So far, the filter has been used over 13 million times – a clear indication of its powerful marketing.
2. Pink Malibu Dreamhouse
Located on the sunny Malibu coast, an exotic Barbie dream house from Airbnb awaits Barbie fans. As one of the biggest Barbie marketing stunts of all time, the pink mansion takes visitors on a ride into the all-pink Barbie world. Here, you can find an outdoor dance floor, a private pool, Ken’s rollerblades, a gym, and a fully-stocked closet.
Moreover, after Barbie’s tremendous box office success, Ken has stepped into Barbie’s shoes and taken over the hosting spin. From the 21st to the 22nd of July, two lucky guests will be invited to stay at the Malibu Barbie Dreamhouse. It is unclear if the Barbie House will continue to host fans indefinitely, but we hope it will make our Barbie Dreamhouse dreams come true.
3. Barbie Brand Collaborations
So far, Barbie has attracted over 100 partners and indefinite brand collaborations. Without a shadow of a doubt, the Barbie era is everywhere, from Prada to Burger King.
One of the more notable names on this list of Barbie brand tie-ins is Burger King. Burger King Brazil unleashed its ultimate inner Barbie fan by launching its Pink Burger. It not only introduced a bubblegum pink sauce but included a pink shake, Ken fries, and a pink doughnut on its menu.
Besides that, another notable brand tie-in is Xbox. Partnering with Mattel, the two launched a pastel pink Xbox Series S with faceplates of matching Barbie and Ken ensembles.
Moreover, other brands have stepped in to give an extra big serving of pink. Some include Proper Snacks, Boohoo, Pinkberry, MOON Oral Beauty, Zara, and Prada.
4. US Tour of the World of Barbie
The World of Barbie has called on fans to explore an immersive experience. Paying homage to the iconic doll, the Barbie toy company, Mattel, has launched this breathtaking experience.
By entering the Barbie dreamhouse, you can visit a Barbie-themed laboratory, chill out in a Barbie camper van, catch a Barbie interstellar rocket, record your voice in the Barbie Sound Studio, and catch a glimpse of Barbie dolls, Barbie clothes, and other accessories.
5. ‘Terrifying’ 3D Dubai Marketing Stunt
To date, Barbie’s most ‘terrifying’ marketing strategy is its Dubai stunt. In this marketing campaign, a gigantic Barbie 3D model steps outside its Barbie box in front of the Burj Khalifa.
6. Pink Barbie Makeover
As soon as the Barbie trailer appeared, the world went mad after the hot pink colour. The fascination received so much hype that it caused a worldwide shortage of pink paint after Barbie extra love for the pink hue.
However, the Barbie team has not stopped painting everything pink yet. From billboards to bus stop benches, everything in between received a hot monochromatic pink Barbie colour. Moreover, the marketing team has created text devoid of pink boards, clearly translating the vision ‘Barbie is pink. Pink is Barbie’.
7. Barbie-Themed Hotel
In a recent interview with the Barbie cast, the brand’s marketing team converted everything at the interview’s location into a pink Barbie-inspired theme.
Instead of an ordinary hotel, the team changed the entire floor into a hot pink landscape. Down to even the smallest of details, every single item received a hue of pink: chess, roses, floors, doors, etc. Even the interior included a gigantic doll packaging box.
8. French Barbie Movie Poster
The French Barbie movie poster starring Barbie and Ken became popular when Barbie Twitter fans noticed the dual meaning of the French translation.
In English, the movie’s tagline says, “She’s everything. He’s just Ken.” However, francophones highlighted a second meaning to the French translation, “Elle peut tout faire. Lui, c’est juste Ken.” which accidentally makes a pun that says, “She knows how to do everything. He just knows how to f*ck.”
The translation mishap put the Barbie movie in the limelight, and whether it was an accidental marketing strategy or not, the secret is unknown.
9. Hellmann’s Cheeky Barbie Campaign
With a tongue-in-cheek gag, Hellmann’s showcased its creativity while embracing Barbie-mania. The brand’s creative agency integrated a Barbie-esque doll with a shrimp on its head on its recent poster, incorporating the famous Australian phrase, “Throw another shrimp on the Barbie”.
Alongside that, the canvas featured a photograph of Hellmann’s product in small font that reads, “Better with Hellmann’s”. The campaign launched at the perfect time when Warner Bros. collaborated with other brands to promote its movie. That’s why one could deliberately label it as a Barbie team marketing stunt.
10. Barbenheimer Poster
Barbie vs Oppenheimer has been a global trend since the two parties announced the same movie release date. The release of the Barbie movie landed at the right time for the summer holidays, but no one expected its potential pairing with an extremely different cinema release.
Hence, the same-day release filled global audiences with excitement and perplexity. Fans began crafting mashup posters of the Barbie world with the thrilling era of Oppenheimer. From a La La Land-inspired dance face-off to Drew Struzan‘s character collage, the hilarious edits left fans craving more. But one thing is clear, Barbie’s marketing team has definitely attracted a massive audience to the highly-anticipated movie.
11. Margot Robbie as News Reader Barbie
The Barbie movie’s publicity took a striking turn when Barbie, a.k.a. Margot Robbie, made a real presence as a newsreader. “Is there anything Barbie can’t do?” The answer is simply no.
The event happened during the Australian leg of the Barbie press tour. During the Australian talk show The Project, one of its segments culminated with a request for Margot Robbie. The request constituted reading Barbie-related news stories, and was instantly accepted by the actress.
The video went viral quickly, as no one expected her to do this spontaneously. The Project posted the event on Twitter with the caption, “Barbie can do everything, and now we introduce Newsreader Barbie!”
The multi-brand tie-ins movie has certainly painted the town pink with its highly remarkable marketing strategies. For sure, huge credit for the film’s success goes to its impeccable marketing stunts.
Undoubtedly, it’s not the first time in history that a movie has spent a handsome amount on marketing. Many movies such as Jurassic World Dominion, Toy Story, and Sony’s Bullet Train had a massive marketing budget too. However, this time, the Barbie movie marketing tactics and brand partnerships have worked well to unleash greater brand recognition and status for Barbie, Mattel, and Warner Bros., delivering unlimited cash flow for the team.