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Barbie Proves the Power of Investing in Marketing

While everyone in the US is preparing for an impending recession, it won’t stop them from seeing one of this summer’s biggest blockbuster movies, Barbie

Six months ago few people would have guessed they would be anticipating the release of the Barbie movie this July. But once Barbie put its marketing campaign into drive, it quickly took over the internet and is predicted to be the biggest movie of the summer, even with Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s biographical thriller about the man who helped develop the first nuclear weapons, releasing on the same day.

So how did Barbie take over the world? Simple. By not only investing money in marketing — but strategy too. 

Here are 3 Ways Barbie Proves the Power of Investing in Marketing:

1.Barbie has More than 100 Brand Partnership Deals

Every Barbie needs a Midge! From a Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse Airbnb rental to Barbie-themed beauty products, luggage, and video games, Barbie has not limited itself to any industry. No matter what you’re into, there is a Barbie-themed product for you!

2.Only Marketing to Its Target Audience — Adults

Barbie has made it clear this movie is for an adult audience, not an easy feat for a movie based on a child’s toy. How have they done this? By targeting their audience where they’re at in life and by playing on the power of nostalgia.

Out of their 100 brand collaborations, almost none of them are products for kids. As mentioned earlier, there are Barbie insurance commercials, Barbie-themed rugs, and even a Barbie boat cruise in Boston, all of which are products or experiences only adults would enjoy. 

Most adults today grew up playing with Barbies and the marketing for the Barbie movie is strategically using that as leverage. Through the Airbnb Malibu Dreamhouse and other branded experiences, Barbie is making what adults thought once could only be make-believe a reality. 

3.Embracing Meme Culture and an AI Fixation

Whether it’s AI-generated text, images, or commercials, people are intrigued by what the technology can do. Pairing AI with a humorous, self-deprecating trend that others can make their own, was pure marketing genius by Barbie’s marketing team.

At the beginning of April, Barbie kicked off its marketing campaign with the release of an AI-generated movie poster. The Barbie Selfie Generator uses AI to allow users to easily place a picture of themselves into the movie poster with the slogan “This Barbie is _______.” 

Barbie got the trend started by showing how it’s done with posters of the cast and their character’s taglines. They then encouraged others to do the same through their easy-to-use Barbie Selfie Generator and the trend skyrocketed with everyone from the biggest brands and names hopping on the bandwagon.

It’s a Barbie World

Why we won’t know Barbie’s box office total for a few weeks, the movie is already projected to be a monumental success and it has its marketing team to thank. A star-studded cast can only get you so far, as so many movies that failed to market beyond that prove. 

Barbie has shown us how crucial a role marketing can play in taking a product, service, or experience from just a niche audience to a global one. 

Barbie’s marketing team has made it clear: It’s a Barbie World and we’re just living in it.


Written by Bethany Benham