“I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world…” This iconic lyric from Aqua’s hit song, “Barbie Girl,” has been etched into our hearts, forever returning us to a world of nostalgia. For decades, Barbie has been associated with vibrant pink, which once symbolized femininity.
Fast forward to July 2023, and the pink fever is back. But this time, it’s not just the ladies rocking it, boys, gentlemen, and elderly men rocking it, too, all for the premiere of The Barbie Movie. But what changed? How did the color pink, once confined to a stereotypical notion of femininity, now unite everyone in a joyful celebration?
The answer lies in Barbie’s marketing strategy infused with immersive storytelling and inclusive representation that has recently transformed the marketing industry. In this article, we explore the 5 PR insights that brands should learn from the Barbie movie.
Let’s dive right in
5 PR Insights That Brands Can Learn From The Barbie Movie
Beyond the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, the Barbie Movie’s marketing team leveraged several creative strategies that have left a lasting impact on audiences worldwide. Here are five insights we think brands should consider to help scale their marketing campaigns.
1. Leverage Inclusivity in Marketing
The Barbie brand has long been at the forefront of promoting inclusivity, and the newest Barbie Movie continued this tradition by championing diversity both on and off-screen. By creating diverse dolls representative of all women, with 35 skin tones, 97 hairstyles, and nine body types, Barbie set the stage for a movie that resonates with diverse audiences. Moreover, the film’s creators collaborated with multicultural artists, ensuring authentic representation and making audiences feel seen and included.
The result? Barbie’s marketing campaign garnered an astounding 23,350% increase in mentions across popular media channels. The brand also leveraged AI to create a Barbie Selfie Generator, which garnered over 13 million users globally. This represents a strong connection with fans who yearned for genuine representation in the media.
The movie’s successful promotion of inclusivity is a powerful lesson for brands across industries. Embrace diversity and representation, not just in marketing campaigns but also in product development and brand messaging. Recognize the importance of authentic representation, as it resonates deeply with audiences, forging a genuine connection beyond mere marketing efforts. By celebrating the uniqueness of all individuals, brands can create a sense of belonging and loyalty among diverse consumers.
2. Spark Curiosity with Captivating Content
Content marketing played a significant role in the Barbie Movie’s promotional strategy, sparking curiosity and leaving audiences hungry for more. The clever use of teaser trailers left social media abuzz with speculation about the film’s plot. Unlike traditional trailers, Barbie’s marketing team recognized that leaving room for mystery and intrigue generated an even greater sense of anticipation.
Brands can draw inspiration from this approach by adopting a less-is-more strategy, teasing audiences with intriguing glimpses and captivating narratives. Leverage storytelling to create an emotional connection and allow curiosity to grow naturally. This will drive your audience to seek more information and organically engage with your brand.
3. Foster Community Engagement
Barbie’s marketing team went beyond traditional advertising to foster a sense of community engagement. With a robust presence on Instagram and TikTok, the brand taps into the 64% of people who take action after seeing diverse or inclusive ads. The promotional website and Barbie Style Instagram account became safe spaces where multicultural audiences connected and celebrated diverse identities.
A peek at Barbie’s official Instagram account shows how far the brand went with community engagement. Most of their posts garnered tens of thousands of likes and over a thousand comments. The Barbie brand has a massive followership of 3.4 million users. The Barbie Movie has an official Instagram account with 1.7 million active followers.
Immersive experiences, like the ones created by The Barbie Movie’s marketing team, provide valuable insights for brands seeking to foster community engagement. Embrace experiential marketing beyond traditional advertising, offering consumers unique and memorable interactions with the brand. Leverage social media platforms to create safe and inclusive spaces where your audience can connect and interact with the brand.
4. Brand Collaboration is Key
Through strategic brand collaborations, the Barbie Movie’s marketing brilliance extended beyond the silver screen. From Barbie-themed cups at cinemas to a Barbie-inspired frozen yogurt flavor at Pinkberry. And even a scented candle to recreate the DreamHouse ambiance at home, fans were immersed in Barbie’s world. They also collaborated with Airbnb to create a Barbie-styled hotel for fans.
The brand also teamed up with renowned fashion brands like Aldo, Forever 21, and Béis to celebrate Barbie’s signature style, making it accessible to fans worldwide. Barbie’s influence cut across every aspect of consumers’ lives, from fashion to beauty and personal care products.
Barbie empowered individuals to embrace their unique identities and feel a part of something truly special by showcasing diverse dolls and celebrating various cultural influences on fashion and style. The gaming community was not left out. Barbie’s collaboration with Xbox and Forza Horizon 5 appealed to gamers, showcasing the versatility of the brand partnerships in extending the Barbie universe to diverse audiences.
That said, brands should explore collaborations that align with their values and extend their reach to diverse audiences. Seek partnerships that complement the brand’s image and appeal to your target demographic. Such strategic collaborations can breathe new life into a brand, infusing it with fresh ideas and a broader appeal while providing opportunities for cross-promotion and increased brand visibility.
5. Leverage Influencer Marketing
The secret sauce to Barbie’s success lies in its powerful collaborations with multicultural artists and digital platforms. Teaming up with talents like Karol G, Lizzo, and Nicki Minaj for the movie’s soundtrack amplifies its multicultural message while building authentic connections with diverse audiences.
The movie stars, including Margot Robbie and other cast members, shared Barbie-themed selfies and promotional content on their social media accounts. This extended the movie’s reach to millions of followers, boosting anticipation and excitement. By collaborating with influencers and encouraging cast and crew members to engage with fans, the marketing team harnessed influencer marketing to amplify their marketing results.
Brands should recognize the impact of influencers in shaping consumer perceptions and engaging target audiences. Identify influencers who align with the brand’s values and resonate with its audience, enabling authentic storytelling that amplifies its message. Empower influencers to become advocates for the brand, inspiring genuine connections with consumers and driving brand loyalty.
The Barbie Movie’s marketing campaign remains one of the best marketing stunts recently. By leveraging inclusivity, sparking curiosity with content marketing, fostering community engagement, embracing brand collaborations, and harnessing the power of influencer marketing, Barbie’s marketing campaigns resonated with their audiences worldwide.
The brand’s dedication to authenticity, diversity, and immersive experiences has created a lasting impression on fans, inspiring them to embrace their unique identities.