Barbie the Movie: 5 best marketing initiatives

The summer of 2023, apart from the exceptional scorching heat, will undoubtedly be remembered for all the pink that invaded streets, social profiles, ad campaigns, clothing lines…

Barbie – The Movie, the latest film by director Greta Gerwig, entered into legend even before it was released in cinemas, thanks to an incredible promotional campaign. With more than a billion dollars grossed worldwide, collaborations and product placement more than apt, the Barbie fever has infected practically everyone: even the most used search engine in the world, Google, for the occasion has Barbieified itself with a super pink easter egg that appears with every themed search (try it to believe it).

It therefore seems impossible not to dedicate this end-of-summer best-of to the iconic Mattel doll. Here are the five best film-related initiatives, according to us broders.

1. Barbie e Airbnb Dreamhouse Experience

The collaboration between Barbie and Airbnb is nothing new: back in 2019 for the brand’s 60th anniversary, the famous Dreamhouse in Malibu was available for short stays. This year, on the occasion of the release of the film, it is back available on the platform, after an even pinker makeover, for two one-night stays for up to two people. Host for the occasion? Ken of course, who didn’t miss the opportunity to give it his own personal touch.

The collaboration offers a unique, totally immersive experience of the Barbie product and style amidst huge wardrobes, dips in the pool and sleepovers, with Malibu as the backdrop. We Broders loved this collab and had fun imagining it as the location for an Udinì in pink: what do you think?

Barbie Dreamhouse collaborazione con Airbnb

2. Burger King: un assaggio di Barbieland

On the occasion of the film’s release, Burger King Brazil launched a themed menu with ad hoc packaging: pink burger, fries, pink glazed donut, of course, and milkshake. 

To make the experience even more in line with the Barbieland mood, the São Paulo store was entirely tinted in Barbie palette shades, giving all customers the opportunity to enjoy lunch or dinner as if they were really at Barbieland.

A fun and targeted initiative, once again bringing Barbie the Movie to the streets of our cities.

Burger King Barbie edition San Paolo Brasile

3. Birkenstock vs. Barbieland: ingenious product placement for 'ugly' slippers

When we think of Barbie, we certainly think of huge wardrobes and endless walls of little shoes and slippers in the most diverse shades of pink, but no one would think of ‘ugly but comfortable’ shoes like Birkenstocks. In Gerwig’s film they become a symbol of the harsh real world, in complete contrast to the sweetened reality of Barbieland, becoming the absolute protagonists of two key scenes. 

If for several years now, the German brand has been cleared through customs, becoming more and more pop, thanks to ‘Barbie – the movie’ it undergoes an unprecedented surge, crowning this process of ascent. Not only is the candy pink Arizona model practically unobtainable, but now the brand will even be listed on the stock exchange!

Barbie The Movie product placement Birkenstock

4. It’s a Barbie fashion world

Barbie Impala

Could the fashion industry have been excluded from the collab? Of course not! In addition to the trend of shocking pink outfits worn by spectators in cinemas around the world, there are many brands that have created collections inspired by Barbie: Superga, Zara, Gap just to name a few. The ALDO Shoes brand stands out in particular with a line that seems to come straight out of Barbieland and Impala, a roller brand, which made the model worn by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling and which can now be purchased in a limited edition together with knee, elbow and wrist guards.

5. Mattel: the art of reinventing itself

With a record-breaking film, the company that gave birth to Barbie in 1959 has achieved the branded content of branded content: a move that demonstrates a strategic ability to reinvent itself. After years of crisis, due to a gradual association of the doll as a symbol of unbridled capitalism and the wrong example for women, Mattel has relied on its initial mission, which originated with creator Ruth Handler, namely ‘to inspire the unlimited potential of little girls’. The film thus brings the brand closer to modern consumers, promoting positive images of female empowerment and self-expression. In addition, it accomplishes a maximum of self-promotion, without falling into excessive self-celebration, but rather by playing on criticism and contradiction, with a skilful use of irony. Gerwig has thus pulled off a masterstroke that revitalises the brand.

With Barbie – The Movie and the massive promotional campaign that accompanied it, Mattel created a very high level of content, with hybrid characteristics, with a feverish dialogue between the screen (cinema and other devices) and physical places. From ‘Barbieised’ points of sale, to welcome structures, to doll boxes in squares or multiplexes, inside which to take photos to share on social networks. A success also measurable by hashtags such as #barbie, with +145% compared to the previous year. 

Barbie will not be the only project made by Mattel: at the moment, in fact, the company has another fourteen films in store starring its other iconic toy lines; we can’t wait if the success will be comparable to this one!

the importance of branded content

Although in larger and much more complex proportions, the Barbie Movie phenomenon is an example of the effectiveness of branded content: through an artistic product of a high level, which touches the right emotional chords of the audience, it is possible to effectively convey both messages related to brand values, often making full use of irony, and strong messages on social issues.

At Brodo Studio we strongly believe in using video content and formats that capture attention, entertain and excite. From the entire production process, script writing and filming organisation, to the management of their broadcasting on all channels, we create stories that best convey your message.

do you want to create your own branded content? contact us!