How Barbie painted the world pink

The movie’s successful marketing campaign is a testament to the power of marketing in the entertainment industry.

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Let’s talk about the phenomenal marketing campaign run for the Barbie movie over the last number of weeks. The efforts of the extensive and expensive marketing campaign — which rival studio executives estimate to cost $150 million — are already paying off.

The brand has secured over 100 brand partnerships for the launch of the movie, painting the world pink – and not just figuratively; the set decoration of the movie caused a worldwide pink paint shortage!

From the run of the mill marketing deals on apparel with the likes of Primark, Forever 21 and Gap to slightly more unexpected brand partnerships with Airbnb and Burger King — here are our favourite picks from Barbies extensive marketing campaign.

Barbie x Airbnb

In the run up to the movie’s launch, Airbnb advertised a competition to spend a weekend in Barbie’s actual dreamhouse in Malibu, complete with a little splash of Kenergy. An interesting and immersive way to bring the movie to life in the real world and create a conversation around the brand.

Barbie x Impala

Speaking of bringing the brand to life, you can wear the actual skates from the film that Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling don at Venice beach thanks to Barbie’s collaboration with Impala, a well-known roller-skating brand. The Barbie movie marketing team has certainly thought beyond movie posters and teaser trailers with their advertising strategies, employing clever collaborations with relevant brands that create monumental demand for movie merchandise.

Barbie x Xbox

Similarly, thanks to Microsoft’s gaming brand Xbox, you can drive Barbie’s corvette, as well as Ken’s monster truck, in racing sim video game Forza Horizon 5. The film sees Barbie hit the road in a classic 1956 Chevrolet Corvette EV Corvette — pink, of course — while Ken cruises in a 2022 GMC Hummer EV Pickup. Thanks to this brand collaboration, Forza Horizon 5 players can join them in virtual versions of both cars.

In addition to in-game crossover, Xbox also announced custom controllers and consoles with that iconic pink-hued Barbie branding.

AI generator

As if all these marketing ideas were not immersive enough already, you can make your own AI movie poster for free in an online AI Selfie Generator. The custom site takes your selfie, uses AI to cut out the background and places fully branded graphics around you, complete with pink sparkles. Everyone loves a bit of customisation, and this clever use of AI to give consumers their very own movie poster inevitably results in people posting their creations on social media, feeding further into the Barbie brand conversation.

Barbie x Burger King

Possibly the most unexpected marketing move on this list, Barbie’s collaboration with Burger King saw the chain selling a Cheeseburger with Bubblegum pink sauce and bacon bits. Not sure I’d be up for sampling this one, but it certainly got people talking about both brands, and went down a treat in Burger King stores across Brazil.

Turning Google pink

You can’t even google search the movie without turning your entire screen pink and inviting pink sparkles all over your device. Owning the colour pink to the point of turning the world’s biggest search engine bright pink is a bold and confident move in spreading brand awareness, and it’s little marketing touches like this that give this brand an edge.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s been virtually impossible to avoid the colour pink coming up to the Barbie movie’s release. Love it or hate it, the world has not stopped talking about Barbie – and it paid off. 

Barbie scored a $356m opening weekend around the world and has smashed multiple records in box office cinema. 

The movie’s success is a testament to the power of marketing in the entertainment industry. By wisely investing in strategic and innovative promotional campaigns, Barbie was able to generate unparalleled box office returns and stand as a shining example of how marketing can elevate a movie from merely successful to a cultural phenomenon.

Successful brand activation such as this is only possible by collaborating with creatives who have extensive experience working with brands on a day-to-day basis. If you’re looking to breathe life into your brand, get in touch with us.

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