Why the marketing for The Barbie Movie has got everyone talking

Barbie mania is taking the world by storm, from turning key landmarks like the London Eye pink to a Warner Brothers AI-powered selfie generator, the new film’s marketing campaign has certainly got everyone talking.

The $150m campaign started with a build-up of social media posts with images of the star-studded cast being released in a classic Barbie-style poster. It has got the fans involved with user-generated content (UGC) that plays on Barbie nostalgia, but the UGC was a clever tactic to help the marketing go viral with other well-known brands like Disney getting in on the act by sharing images of characters from their movies like High School Musical.

Aside from the star-studded cast including Ryan Gosling, Margot Robbie and Helen Mirren, the soundtrack has been produced by Mark Ronson featuring Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice who have sampled the original Barbie Girl song by Aqua (well how could they not include this one!)

Being able to engage your audience and get them involved is a fantastic way to market with fans even holding bottomless parties on the July 21st release day, while of course wearing pink!

Marketing tools for the film, which is directed by Little Women’s Greta Gerwig, have also included pink billboards simply with the release date on them, changing the name of London’s Barbican Tube Station to ‘Barbiecan’, a pink Doctor Who Tardis at Tower Bridge as well as other outdoor advertising, clothing collections and even pink Barbie Xbox controllers.

This huge campaign is not just about the film, it’s about Mattel selling the Barbie brand and we guarantee the thought process behind it has been in the making for years. The marketing campaign has now made everyone talk about Barbie the Movie and want to go and see it.

I went to see the film on Friday and everyone at the viewing had got on board with the ‘pink’ theme and wore at least one piece of pink clothing or accessory and I don’t think I’ve seen the cinema that packed in a long time. The film was not at all what I expected (in a good way) and the cinematography reminded me of a pink version of Toy Story meets Wreck It Ralph. The Barbie Movie tackles patriarchy, relationships, and feminism, hence the 12A rating, but manages to remain inclusive to its core audience with references to Barbie of Swan Lake but also unexpectedly pays homage to The Matrix and The Godfather that a wider audience may relate to.

Gosling and Robbie are perfectly cast as Ken and Barbie with Gosling getting most of the laughs throughout and the film entertains while delivering some serious messages that are very much topical today. The Barbie Movie has made box office history in its opening weekend raking in £293m around the world and making it the biggest debut ever for a film directed by a woman, so I think the marketing can certainly be deemed a huge success!


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