Unless you have been hiding under a rock or in an alternate universe where everything is made up of one colour and people walk around on tiptoes, you would have seen promotions for the new Barbie movie everywhere over the last few months. While we don’t typically have Hollywood Mattel budgets to light up the London Eye and collab with seemingly every single brand under the sun, there are definitely a few things we can learn from the Barbie movie PR campaigns.
Work smarter, not harder
Everyone knows the iconic Barbie shade of pink, and Mattel knows that. So why not just paint one huge billboard pink, and add the date the film is being released in small letters at the bottom? Nailed it. Rumour has it there was a pink paint shortage on set… but we’re glad they saved enough for this genius billboard, which will have achieved more value for its earned media reach than the actual footfall near the poster I’m sure. With the right brand equity, like the Guinness perfect serve or Coca-Cola’s bottle, there is genius in the simplicity of this type of marketing.
Pack a bigger punch with a collab
Gold star to anyone who finds a brand that Barbie hasn’t collaborated with – from candles, game consoles and fast food restaurants – they have all bases covered. When you’re as big as Barbie, there’s no surprise that everyone wants to jump on this bandwagon. Some of the brands that have joined forces with Barbie include Xbox, ALDO shoes, ZARA, Airbnb, UNO, Fossil, Kitsch, OPI, Bumble and even Crocs… the list goes on. Two brands collaborating is a smart way to leverage each other’s brand currency and reach new, wider audiences. Just ensure the collabs make sense – the rumoured premise of the new Barbie movie is that the Barbie’s can be whatever they want; from gamers, interior designers or even presidents, so the range of collabs is on brand to the storyline.
Learn the importance of UGC and social media
Never underestimate the power of a fangirl. Early April you may recall your social media timelines flooded with ‘This Barbie is…’ memes, which replicated the movie posters of the cast that were released at the same time. Millennials’ dreams were coming true as they could turn their selfies into Barbie posters and have their own pink, sparkly profile pic to upload. The Barbie Movie Instagram account already has 1.1M followers, and the movie hasn’t even come out yet. To put into perspective, that is 100k more than the Avatar Instagram account, which is the highest-grossing movie of all time. They know their target audience and are working with them well.
The list of genius marketing, with help from a seemingly limitless budget, goes on and on, but here are a few more examples of what the Barbie marketing team have pulled off:
- Barbie Dreamhouse tour with Margot Robbie on Architect Digest’s YouTube channel
- Created a Barbie-themed hotel for the cast to be interviewed in
- Created Barbie-themed cups for cinemas
- IRL World of Barbie experience in LA
- Pop-up Barbie themed café in Chicago and New York City
- Warner Brothers have created a Barbie-themed boat cruise in Boston
- At DC Pride, Barbie showed up with a Barbie float, huge banner and people roller skating in similar outfits Margot Robbie is seen to be wearing in the movie
- A Barbie-themed Doctor Who pink Tardis
- Barbie house-themed Roku screensavers and home screens
- The most extravagant, pink press tour including Barbie outfit replica’s on Margot Robbie herself, turning the London Eye pink and the reveal that British icon Rob Brydon from Gavin and Stacey has a part in the movie.
With the budget we’ve seen so far, we will likely see even more from Barbie – watch this space.
I for one am here for every moment!