July 18, 2023
The marketing of the Barbie Movie
Sometimes it can be instructive to take lessons from of different areas of marketing and advertising. The film that has been owning all of social media this summer has to be The Barbie Movie. Their marketing team has been on fire and its been spreading word-of-mouth and good will for the film like no other!
Barbie is a film Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie. It takes an irreverent, tongue-in-cheek look at the titular toy by mattel and it is with that same irreverence that the marketing surrounding the film has really shone for the past few months – nowhere better than on social media. In this blog, I’ll go over some of the best moments that turned this film into a meme juggernaut.
The character posters release on April the 4th set the tone really well. As per this article by mashable
The marvelous posters instantaneously became fodder for memes. Photoshop wizards speedily ripped off the poster design, inserting fictional characters and celebrities into Gerwig’s bright pink universe. For example, fans of Succession‘s Kendall Roy took the “He’s just Ken” line and ran with it.
Generating this kind of buzz is what every marketeer dreams about. This way you only have to take your message so far, the various social media users than send it into the stratosphere with their UGC, all the while getting the message out to potential new audience members.
Another tranche of the marketeers plans are brand partnerships – this can create awareness for both the film and the brand that its featured with. As Tom linay writes on creativebrief.com
Some of the brand partnerships are inspired – the Barbie house on top of a pink XBox, and the Barbie car in Forza Horizon are reaching a demographic who you wouldn’t typically associate with Barbie. There’s also the Barbie dreamhouse which is available on AirBnB. Then there’s Barbie homewares, candles, cosmetics, clothing, rollerblades, toothbrushes, pool inflatables, and there’s even a Barbie themed boat cruise.
Another example of great UGC came from the Barbican Tube station, who gave the welcoming Barbie sign an appropriate makeover
The Barbenheimer effect
Another great feat of marketing magic is that it is being release on the same day as Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. Far from the counter-programming feat it was intended to be, the fact that these two wildly differing films are to be released on the same day has only increased the buzz for both, or as Tom Linay put it
Two wildly contrasting films with apparently different audiences have come to be spoken about together in almost any article about either film and the fate of both films seem intertwined with the portmanteau ‘Barbenheimer’ coined to describe both. Universal are surely delighted with Oppenheimer surfing the Barbie cultural wave.
Look no further than tis Vulture piece to see that the meme machine is in full swing for both movies https://www.vulture.com/article/barbenheimer-memes.html
Tiktok has also been a big driver for marketing around the film, with marketeers cosying up with influencers on the platform such as Alix Earl who video from the premier of Barbie has been watched over 2.5 million times https://www.tiktok.com/@alixearle/video/7254657839535328558
Barbie-mania has really taken over the world this summer, with everyone from Marie Clair to Gigi Hadid jumping on the bandwagon, as per this Guardian article,
Barbiemania has been getting bigger and louder – and it’s about to explode in a fabulous climax of pink.
So I hope today’s blog post has uncovered some truths on how to amplify and spread you message on social media. If you’d like to get in touch with IF to talk about all things marketing, then head over to our contact page!