The marketing strategy behind the “Barbie” movie is nothing short of a pink storm, with an estimated budget of $150 million, according to Variety. This budget even surpasses the $145 million used to produce the movie itself.
The marketing campaign was extensive and creative, ranging from a website allowing fans to make custom “Barbie” posters, to partnering with insurance company Progressive for a commercial shot on the movie set, to teaming with Airbnb to create a life-size replica of Barbie‘s Malibu dreamhouse, and even collaborating with Burger King Brazil on a pink burger.
Progressive Insurance Company x Barbie
Airbnb x Barbie
Burger King x Barbie
Ready for the Pink Storm?
The marketing strategy for the “Barbie” movie was a cultural phenomenon that transcended traditional advertising. Josh Goldstine, Warner Bros.’ president of global marketing, noted that the campaign evolved into a dynamic cultural movement, with brands eager to participate.
Lisa McKnight, Vice President of Mattel, emphasized the long-term impact of the “Barbie” movie, beyond its current buzz. She expressed interest in the new fans the movie would attract post-release, and the redefined perception and image of the Barbie brand in consumers’ minds.
The movie serves as a platform to “recontextualize what people think about us,” she said, indicating a strategic shift towards inclusivity and diversity, as highlighted in this article. This move is expected to resonate with a broader audience, further solidifying Barbie’s position in popular culture.
The film’s marketing campaign was embraced by fans who created memes comparing the promotional expenditure for “Barbie” with that of its competitor, “Oppenheimer,” which premiered on the same day. This strategy was a testament to the power of engaging marketing that resonates with the audience, turning a promotional campaign into a cultural conversation.
The marketing certainly paid off because “Barbie” had the biggest opening weekend of 2023 at the US box office. Combined with “Oppenheimer,” the two movies had the fourth-biggest collective box office turnout in US history, and the biggest turnout since the pandemic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in its opening weekend, “Barbie” grossed $155 million in the US, and $337 million globally.
Barbie’s Intellectual Property Marketing Strategy
1. Leveraging multiple marketing channels to amplify brand recognition and enhance communication reach
The core of IP (Intellectual Property) marketing lies in the continuous delivery of tangible, personalized content, making the brand more distinguishable and memorable. This strategy, akin to the creation of classic film and television characters, ensures the brand’s communicative power and influence. The “Barbie” movie leveraged this strategy to an impressive degree.
By collaborating with over 100 brands and thousands of peripherals, it launched a marketing campaign that created a global Barbie Pink Storm, significantly increasing its exposure. The campaign also capitalized on viral social marketing, with hashtags like #barbie and #barbiegirl trending across various social media platforms.
This strategy, which included sharing style outfits and makeup tutorials, garnered views ranging from 500 million to 10 billion.
2. Enriching Brand Value and Enhancing Consumer Resonance and Loyalty
Intellectual Property provides more than just the functional attributes of a product to consumers; it also serves as an emotional carrier. Essentially, IP is a personification of a company, acting as a carrier of brand personality and charm. An effective IP must possess vivid personality traits, akin to a “person”, complete with life, stories, and emotions.
Starting from 2016, Barbie dolls of various body types, skin colors, and outfits have been released. With the evolution of culture and societal norms, Barbie has transformed from a fashionable and delicate female image into a diverse, rich, and positive character. The Barbie brand embraces the beauty of diversity, encouraging girls to pursue the life they want.
The use of IP expands the brand’s expression in culture and value, establishing emotional connections with consumers. This ultimately enhances consumer loyalty, converting them into “die-hard fans”. As one of the best-selling toys of the present day, the Barbie doll’s brand collaboration can share traffic.
The rich IP content realizes the transition from selling toys to selling IP. The originally virtual idol Barbie, now appearing in the form of a live-action movie and collaborations, breaks through the second dimension and gets closer to the real life of consumers, further increasing consumer loyalty.
The iconic marketing strategy of Barbie, as Matthew Hayes points out on LinkedIn, is a lesson in brand evolution. Barbie has managed to stay relevant and loved by continually evolving with the times. The brand has embraced diversity, inclusivity, and female empowerment, and these values are reflected in their marketing campaigns.
The “Barbie” movie and its marketing strategy are a testament to the brand’s ability to adapt and thrive in changing times.
In a nutshell
In conclusion, the “Barbie” movie’s marketing strategy is a masterclass in brand promotion and cultural relevance. With a budget that exceeded the movie’s production cost, the campaign managed to create a cultural movement that led to a successful box office opening.
The strategy behind the “Barbie” movie is a testament to the power of understanding your audience and evolving with the times.
Ever wondered what pops up when you type ‘Barbie’ into Google? From the iconic doll’s history to the latest Barbie-themed products and movies, Google’s search results are a treasure trove of all things Barbie.