Reviewing Everything The Barbie Movie Marketing Did Right

July 27, 2023

A Barbie doll

If you haven’t heard or seen anything about the new Barbie movie that recently hit the big screens, have you been living under a rock? This year saw literal houses transformed into the pink Barbie dreamhouse, social media ablaze with Barbenheimer memes and pink burgers created in Brazil to promote the release of the new Greta Gerwig film. It was like an elaborate trap for which we all fell for…hard – even you Opmenhiemer bros can’t deny that your interest was piqued!

For a marketing strategy that slaps you across the face in all the right ways, look no further than the Barbie marketing strategy of 2023.

Where did the Barbie marketing strategy begin? 

 No one can really put a pin on when the Barbie fever truly started, as each piece of new information we received about the film seemed to spread like wildfire across the internet. Personally, we think it all began back at CinemaCon in 2022 when a single image of Barbie in her Corvette in Barbieland was first shown to the public. From that moment on, Barbie became an icon once again.

It’s been estimated that Barbie had a $150 million dollar marketing budget to promote the film. To put that into perspective, it cost more than the actual production of the film itself. But if there’s one thing that the Barbie movie marketing team did right, it’s knowing that it takes money to make money. 


Whilst this may seem simple, a lot of people just look at the price of production and don’t account for the marketing costs – something that can be a crucial part of what makes your product a success story. 

Overcoming the changes to traditional theatre

Before we could be graced with Margot Robbies’ incredible interpretation of the classic plastic doll, there were many external factors that the Barbie marketing strategy had to overcome. With the decrease in cinema-goers due to the covid-19 pandemic and streaming services slowly taking over our lives, the Barbie movie had to combat something that many have struggled to do in recent years – make us leave our homes and spend money. 


But that didn’t halt the Barbie film’s marketing efforts. If anything, it put it on supercharge and forced us to see Barbie everywhere we looked. We’re talking about brand collaborations with established companies like Burger King, Xbox and Zara, influencer marketing, the use of AI for a Barbie selfie generator and much more! Even the world of SEO has gone mad over on Google, watching keywords related to the film turn pink accompanied by an array of garish sparkles appearing on the screen. 


Now that’s another level of influence. 


The use of social media in the Barbie movie marketing

 One of the most interesting marketing ploys seen throughout the Barbie marketing strategy was the use of social media. With a star-studded cast, all of whom have millions of followers combined, it would be stupid not to utilise this.

Many will remember the cast announcement posts with the iconic headlines of ‘She is Barbie’, ‘He is Ken’, ‘This Barbie is…’, ‘He is also Ken’ and so forth. If you’re telling us that this didn’t spark some manner of Barbie intrigue within you, you would be lying not just to us, but to yourself.  


And who could forget the clash of two audiences as the fans eagerly awaited the release of the seemingly antithetical Oppenheimer? Was this an intentional choice to release Barbie on the same day as its polar opposite? Were the Barbenheimer memes that kept us entertained for weeks all a strategic ploy from the Barbie film marketing team? Whilst we cannot comment on that exactly, it definitely played a huge role in hyping up the film yet further. 


It’s not just a movie, it’s a brand

There’s something a lot of people forget about in the world of marketing, and that’s branding. You are not just promoting your latest products, but you are promoting a brand alongside it. One of the best things the Barbie movie marketing did was hone in on its branding. It fed into the world of pink and painted it everywhere – we still can’t get over the real-life Barbie dreamhouse


The marketing team knew its audience and ensured that every marketing decision was tailored with them in mind. Clothes, shoes, jewellery, limited edition items – pink, pink, pink. I mean, if you weren’t wearing pink to the cinema, were you even watching Barbie? 


The smart decision behind this is that the Barbie movie will live on. Even as the film leaves the cinema, girls around the world will be rocking the Barbie merchandise for years to come. Picture it now, it’s Halloween in 2023 and flashes of pink catch your eye on every corner as hordes of Barbies and Kens flutter towards you. Endearingly nightmarish, no?


Everything was a choice, even down to the outfits Margot Robbie wore to the Barbie premiere tour were inspired by pre-existing outfits worn by the original dolls. Just try telling us you aren’t looking up the price of these dolls on eBay right now… If this isn’t the perfect way to implement a subtle hint to audiences to remember the origin behind this movie, and in many ways bring it back to life for the younger generations to enjoy, then we don’t know what is.

 The success story the Barbie movie marketing deserves 

 As a digital marketing agency, we love seeing the success of marketing campaigns. The world of marketing can be a complex place, and sometimes you won’t see the results you were hoping for. With the amount of time, money and energy thrown into the Barbie marketing strategy, it was great to see such a huge payoff come their way. 

Within the opening weekend alone the film made $356.3 million, including international sales. That’s a huge achievement for an industry which previously relied on the sale of DVDs to make a profit. But it also became the biggest box office movie of 2023, trumping Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer which took home $180m. 


The Barbie film also made history by achieving the biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman! Now that’s some conversions the Barbie marketing team can shout home about in their next reporting meeting. 

If you’re looking for a marketing agency that can think outside the box and is great with handling gigantic budgets, then look no further! Here at Signify Digital, we are all about taking your marketing to the next level. From understanding your SEO marketing potential to optimizing your PPC capabilities, we can help your social media presence become obnoxiously pink – in a good way! 


Get in touch to learn how we can help boost your online presence.

Georgia brings an analytical approach to her work supporting the team.
careers and company culture at Signify Digital

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