The Genius Marketing Strategy of the Barbie Doll 

Barbie Doll is one of the films that has registered massive success at the Box Office in 2023. Since its release on July 21, the film has surpassed Harry Porter as the highest-grossing film, making over $1.38 billion globally. It now holds the record for the highest-grossing Werner Bros films ever. It also holds the record for the highest-grossing domestic movie in 2023.

But how has a girl-themed movie achieved such massive success? The film got amazing reviews and referrals that hyped it to a big audience. Its positioning as a large-budget film with many stars and its visual vibrancy contributed to its success as a blockbuster film. Additionally, the film used genius marketing tactics that caused its popularity. 

Strategies Used to Market the Barbie Doll Movie

 Here are some of the marketing strategies that the movie used.

The Barbie Personality

The movie chose to give life to Barbie, providing her with her social media account and turning her into an influencer. She posted pictures chilling by the pool, driving around with Ken, and promoting the brands she collaborates with.

Barbie has 1.4 million followers on TikTok and 15 million likes. She has 3 million followers on Instagram. Therefore, Barbie is more than just a doll. She is a lifestyle that has helped market the movie in a big way.

Barbie-doll Posters

On its promotional posters, Barbie doll highlighted its star-studded cast. The posters had vibrant headshots and a brief description of each character. For instance, Issa Rae was introduced in the poster as  “This Barbie’s president”.

The marketing team also developed a selfie generator enabling social media users to create personal images and captions on their Barbie posters. This took the Barbie campaign to a whole new level and contributed to its marketing communication.

Classic  Barbie Dreamhouse

One of the standout marketing campaigns of the film was the collaboration with Airbnb to allow fans to sample the pink-coloured Malibu mansion. While they could only rent it for two nights,  this was a great chance to enjoy the immersive Barbie experience, something that left the internet talking.

The house that was renovated to depict the film was, without a doubt, one of their most successful marketing campaigns.

The Barbiedoll Challenge

The Babie movie leveraged social media to build hype for the movie. The film used platforms like TikTok and Instagram to connect with fans and draw interest. 

For instance, the Barbie doll challenge helped create a deeper connection with fans, build brand loyalty, and increase engagement. The dolls also brought inclusivity as they had a wide range of skin colors, tones, and body shapes. 

Barbie Burger King Meal

Restaurants, too, weren’t left behind in the Barbie marketing campaign, with Burger King launching limited meals to honor the film. In one of their Brazilian branches, they offered a cheeseburger with a topping of a bright pink sauce. 

They also had a strawberry milkshake, a doughnut, and plain French fries that were labeled “Ken’s potatoes” in honor of a doll nicknamed “Just Ken.” The meals also caused a buzz online, adding to the publicity of the film.

Barbie Soundtrack

Barbie doll campaigns targeted everyone, including Gen Z and millennials. To capture this audience, they curated its soundtrack using some of the biggest music stars adored by these generations. 

Some of the stars whose singles were on the track included Ice SPice, Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj, and Billie Eilish. When the tracklist was announced, there was excitement among fans, creating promotional buzz and intriguing the listeners of the artists.

Lessons from Barbie Doll Marketing Strategy

What lessons do we learn from the Barbie doll campaigns? Here are a number of them:

Creating a Brand Theme

One of the unique themes of the movie was its unique pink color. From the billboard promotions, outfits, and even carpets, the movie strongly maintained this theme, helping people to identify with it easily. So, what is the theme of your brand and how does it contribute to your marketing communication and strategy?

Pre-release Hype

Even before it was released, Barbie doll had amazing pre-release marketing. The movie director, Amatell, entered into several partnerships with different brands. There were different Barbie doll products ranging from clothes and shoes to fast food. The movie had licensing deals with Mattel, and other fashion brands came on board to be part of the brand.

 This helped to create hype for the product and pull the interest of audiences. Barbie became a culture rather than a marketing campaign. You can also do the same when introducing a new product: hype it!

The Use of Influencer Marketing

One of the strategies that the team behind the movie used to create awareness of the movie was the use of social media influencers. They used influencers who shared the same values with the brand. This way, they were able to create authentic partnerships with fans. The influencers they collaborated with were in various industries, such as fashion stylists and makeup artists.

The Breadcrumb Strategy

According to Josh Doldistine, Warner Bros global marketing president, the team behind their marketing campaign ensured that they released the right material at the right time. This ensured that every time they released something, the movie received a new level of engagement.

The first material was released in 2022 at CinemaCon, where they put a single Barbie image in a Corvette in Barbie Land. This helped to kickstart the Barbie culture, and people started to wear dayglow outfits with multiple colors.

According to Josh, they were deliberately using the bread crumbs strategy here, providing people with little pieces of the movie to generate curiosity.

Use of AI to create the Barbie generator

The Barbie generator was created using AI, allowing users to join the Barbieberse. Therefore, they get an immersive experience using #BarbieTheMovie. This hashtag generated 178,00 posts on Instagram. Therefore, you should also leverage technology to take your brand to the next level.

In Conclusion

It’s clear that the Barbie Doll movie used unique marketing strategies to generate interest in the film and even hype it. From the beginning to the end, Barbie Doll had a consistent marketing tactic that paid off in a big way. 

You, too, can do the same for your brand. With the above lessons, you can easily create interest in your brand and take its marketing campaigns to the next level.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.