Barbie goes far beyond a simple toy. It has emerged as influencer
As a toy, Barbie goes far beyond what most people think. The show has left an enduring imprint on popular culture since its inception in 1959.
In the minds and hearts of consumers worldwide, Barbie holds a unique and cherished position. It is now up to Mattel to search for new opportunities to ensure Barbie’s continued success.
Barbie’s latest movie presents an opportunity to reinvent the brand, showing its growth and embracing a forward-looking outlook.
Before Warner Bros Barbie’s premiere on July 21, brands and advertising professionals for organizations like Bloomingdales and Gap have exploited Barbie’s iconic intellectual property (IP) to generate awareness for both the movie and their respective products, utilizing social media, viral marketing and strategic partnerships.
As a result, “Barbiecore” – the recent trend in pink plastic – is everywhere, from Burger King’s pink burgers to Ruggable’s limited-edition rugs.
The Malibu Barbie dream house is available for rent on Airbnb, and there are pink billboards everywhere. The Barbican tube station in London has been renamed Barbiecan. Xbox controllers with Barbie themes are even available.
Considering the budget of $150 million, it’s a bit overwhelming to think of the number of marketing alliances. Mattel and its partners are still confident that the numerous collaborative product launches and campaigns will result in a successful return on investment.
Nevertheless, given the zealous marketing efforts, some wonder whether this push will increase sales of the real Barbie doll and those of the movie and product partnerships. Some question whether Barbie is an outlier or a new benchmark for how Hollywood develops its strategic alliances around intellectual property.
Almost all digital platforms covered the Barbie news as soon as it broke. In an age where Barbie is embedded in every imaginable product and part of our daily lives, it can feel massively saturated.
Marketing experts, advertising experts, and industry analysts believe that due to Mattel’s size, customers will grow accustomed to oversaturated Hollywood IP promotion over time.
Marketing professionals attribute this to Barbie’s sense of safety and nostalgia. Airbnb, for example, offers a unique brand experience for public use as a Barbie partner.
Conversely, brands such as Lipton are not even remotely associated with Barbie or its target audience. It is safe to say that not every brand has to focus on what’s ‘in’ and what constitutes ‘their’ cultural space.
It is expected that consumers will watch the movie regardless of their love or loathing of Barbie, as brands have crafted narratives that appeal to both sides of the fence.
Snack Content, a data intelligence platform, found that Barbie mentions on TikTok increased by 191% and on YouTube by 80% in 2022. TikTok videos with the hashtag #Barbie have been viewed more than nine billion times.
In 2023, TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram reels used the #Barbie hashtag 145 percent more than they did in 2022.