The Barbie Craze: 5 of the film’s best marketing stunts

21 July 2023

The year is 2023 and Barbie is everywhere. You wouldn’t believe it! The 90s doll has been revived only 8 years after CNN declared the end of Barbie’s reign in an article titled “Barbie is dead”. The release of the new film, starring Margot Robbie as the leading lady herself and Ryan Gosling as her ‘Ken’, directed by Greta Gerwig, has been the perfect opportunity for Barbie’s marketing team to reinvent the brand. As we all know, so far it’s been a success. 

‘Barbiecore’ is well and truly a thing, as most of social media and life, in general, has been tinted a shade of hot pink. Mattel’s Barbie marketing team have initiated more than 100 collaborations and partnerships in the build-up to the premiere. Barbie superstar, Margot Robbie, covered Vogue and the doll’s iconic Dreamhouse was listed on Airbnb.

Here are 5 of the movie’s best marketing stunts ahead of the film’s release on Friday 21st July 2023. 

  1. Cast your minds back to April 2023, Barbie became a meme. The Barbie marketing team released a selfie generator, that allowed fans to insert themselves into Barbie Land. The UGC tool allowed anyone to star as Barbie with their own tagline. The internet went crazy and suddenly everyone and their dog was made into a Barbie doll. Brands from Mercedes to Nando’s joined in too and the craze completely set the tone for what was to become four long months of hardcore Barbie marketing.
  1. Have you ever wanted to stay the night in Barbie’s iconic Dreamhouse? An effective partnership with Airbnb allowed a few lucky fans to live out their fantasy and stay in Barbie’s house themselves. The house in Malibu, California was of course BRIGHT PINK, decorated with cowboy accessories, guitars and rollerblades. 
  1. Of course, any real Barbie fan would need a set of bright pink luggage to travel in style! The travel accessories brand, Béis, founded by Pretty Little Liars actress Shay Mitchell, launched a collection of suitcases, travel bags and accessories inspired by the movie’s signature pink colourway. The promo campaign saw Shay Mitchell herself assume the role of Barbie, showing off the jet-setting collection which you’ll be sure to spot on the luggage belt. 
  1. Barbie is a fashionista herself so no wonder fashion brands across the UK and US jumped on the Barbie bandwagon. Fashion Brands such as Forever 21, Pacsun, Boohoo, Primark and Gap all released pink barbie inspired collections and consumers went crazy for it! From sunglasses to matching loungewear, cropped T-shirts and halter tank tops to velvet bucket hats, scrunchies and hair clips - you can buy Barbie everything!
  1. Now Barbie would be nothing without her beloved Ken. That’s where the online dating app Bumble comes in. They teamed up with the film to turn Barbie and Ken into real-life dating experts. The characters will make message recommendations as part of Bumble’s “Compliments” feature, letting users send notes to someone before matching with them.

Are you inspired by Barbie’s crazy marketing campaign to level up your own? Are you a business or brand that needs support with your marketing efforts? Get in touch with Gather Social today!

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