You’ve seen Barbie on the news, now get ready for the analysis!
Did you hear? The Barbie movie breached the one billion dollar mark barely three weeks at the box office. And we’ve seen movies hit these numbers before, but the Barbie hype just felt different.
Here are just some reasons why:
- The world ran out of pink, literally!
- People showed up in theaters dressed in Barbie-core. (More on that below).
- Everybody agreed. The marketing team for the movie was insane!
The Barbie marketing campaign was the gift that keeps on giving. And it gave a lot–the film reportedly had a $150M budget.
In this blog, we’ll break down all the machinery (and the genius) that went into the building hype for the movie.
The hype timeline
But the biggest uptick of interest in Barbie came from its same-day release as Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.
And it all began with Twitter (now X), where the term ‘Barbenheimer’ first circulated. This was back in mid-April when the two films announced their cast members. Shortly after, it was announced that the two movies would premiere on the same day.
Internet users created memes and ironic posts because of the genre and tonal gap between the two films.
I don’t know who made this but it’s perfect pic.twitter.com/rh7cbTmrB0
— Alisha Grauso (@AlishaGrauso) July 25, 2023
barbenheimer is the closest we’ve come to having school spirit week as adults
— kelsey weekman (@kelsaywhat) July 18, 2023
Oh, and did we mention the SAG-AFTRA strike also happened while the press tours of Barbie and Oppenheimer? Talk about staying in the press cycle.
Highlights from the Barbie marketing campaign
In 2023, the Barbie marketing campaign deserves a raise for making us fall in love with pink again.
Here are some of their best works with brands.
1. Barbie Dreamhouse galore
The Barbie marketing team paired up with Airbnb to open up the Barbie house for rent.
Yes, it’s real! Complete with the pink facade, the giant pool, and iconic stairs. This house is still up and ready to welcome new residents.
But that’s not it! The marketing team also tapped Architectural Digest to do a cover of the Barbie Dreamhouse set. Spoiler alert: This was the infamous set that caused a global shortage of pink paint.
Erected just outside of the Warner Brothers studio, the set is complete with a closet, a pool, and a shower–exactly like our Barbie dreams.
2. Nyx and Aldo’s Barbie collection
Then, came the retail brand partnerships. You didn’t think that the marketing team would forget about Barbie-esque shoes, outfits, and accessories, did you?
For the Nyx collaboration, they did a 2000s-themed collection drop. That includes? Mini palettes inside a cassette tape packaging, lip glosses, and a Barbie-themed flip phone mirror!
Meanwhile, Aldo released a collection of pink and Barbie-themed heels to match the occasion.
3. Barbie’s press tour
Image by Teen Vogue
The Barbie marketing team did not miss their chance to deliver–even before the movie premiere!
It’s no secret that Margot Robbie’s looks were highly anticipated by the internet. And boy, did her styling team not disappoint. They pulled out old archives from brands like Valentino, Versace, Moschino.
Some of Margot’s most iconic Barbie looks include Pink and Fabulous Barbie (2015), Day to Night Barbie (1985), Solo in the Spotlight Barbie (1960), Enchanted Evening Barbie (1960), and more!
The lessons we learned
With a great budget comes great…responsibility? It’s not just about blowing your budget on collaborations with various brands. It’s also about where you actually put the money!
When it comes to the film’s original soundtrack, they invited top trending artists so the audio would trend on places like Tiktok and Instagram reels.
More and more moviegoers are making it a tradition to dress up related to the theme of the movie. Of course, this all started with the Minions movie. There, people would dress up as bodyguards in suits to watch the film.
The same logic comes with partnering up with makeup and clothing brands! And true enough, most of the moviegoers came in with Barbie-inspired makeup, looks, and shoes.
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