Living in a Barbie World

words by

Naomi Augustin

July 25, 2023

humanology newsletter

Living in a Barbie World

In the past few weeks, you may have found yourself swept up in a whirlwind of Barbie collaborations and advertisements. The iconic doll and her upcoming movie, known for her timeless beauty and fashion, has taken the world by storm with a plethora of limited-edition Xbox consoles, Bumble-themed messages, and even an Airbnb experience. In a noteworthy departure from the norm, the beloved feminine icon is now getting the complete "Marvel treatment" when it comes to promotion—an approach typically reserved for superhero films centered around comics and toys that cater to boys.

As brands join forces to create the Barbie universe, it becomes evident that Mattel's strategy revolves around cultural relevance. With the movie estimated to earn between $70 to $80 million in its opening weekend, Mattel's resounding success certainly stems from its ability to create a fully immersive universe that taps into the nostalgic yearnings of today's culture.

Driving Cultural Relevance: A Bridge for Brands Big and Small

Barbie's all-encompassing universe has become a bridge that connects brands of varying sizes to cultural relevance. Companies have had the opportunity to align themselves with Barbie's cultural legacy, gaining exposure and credibility. Whether it's a multinational corporation or a start-up, collaborating with Barbie has opened doors to a world of possibilities for brands. Especially as the movie has diversified its dolls and people, all while reinstating the brand in culture as it relates to body positivity, race, and gender. This symbiotic relationship allows brands to draw inspiration from Barbie's timeless charm while simultaneously enriching the doll's universe with their own unique offerings.

Moreover, if you were to Google "Barbie Movie" at this moment, you'd be surprised to find the search results adorned with a pink theme, complemented by sparkly gifs that pop up throughout the screen. This marketing approach demonstrates how the franchise is making significant strides in saturating the market with its presence.

Tapping into the Music Industry

Beyond tangible products, Barbie's movie promotion has extended to the realm of music. An official 'Barbie Soundtrack featuring songs from artists like Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, as well as Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, and Sam Smith has captivated audiences worldwide. The synergy between Barbie's captivating world and the music industry has further solidified the doll and its world’s influence over modern culture. This harmony of creative endeavors creates a culture of hype, buzz, and unforgettable moments that resonate with consumers at various touchpoints, especially TikTok.

A Timeless Tale of Nostalgia and Joy

In today's fast-paced world, the need for nostalgia, joy, and immersive experiences has never been more evident. Barbie, with her legacy, offers a unique escape into a simpler, happier time. The recent Barbie movie release, capitalizing on the existing demand for nostalgia, has proven to be a stroke of marketing brilliance. The movie's success hinges on its ability to transport audiences to a world of joy and remembrance, with cherished memories and emotions.

Mattel's masterful strategy of infusing culture, nostalgia, and joy into the Barbie universe has taken the world by storm. From groundbreaking collaborations with diverse brands to captivating the music industry, Barbie has continued to become an iconic symbol of cultural relevance. As the world increasingly craves meaningful connections, Barbie's allure endures, bringing a bit of delight to the lives of people across the globe.

While Barbie’s marketing strategy is without a doubt successful earning 1,071% more interactions across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok since January, and box-office-breaking records, it looks like the movie might be living up to its marketing hype.

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