The Top 6 Moments of the Barbie Movie Marketing Campaign

Barbie, she’s more than just a toy. And with a rush of nostalgia (and pink) we’ve all been reminded just how much more with the upcoming release of the Barbie movie. So, because here at Virtual Marketers we appreciate and celebrate excellent marketing, and give credit where credit is due, here are our top 6 moments from the internationally successful Barbie movie marketing campaign (6 being the age I was when I received my first Barbie, yes I was a little bit late to the party but a passionate enthusiast nonetheless).

Senior Marketing Manager
July 19, 2023
  (NZDT - GMT +12)

1. Can you Own a Colour? Barbie can.

Barbie is synonymous with a specific shade of pink, and the marketing team made sure to drive this point home. Billboards in this shade with only the movie's release date appeared everywhere, showcasing Barbie's ownership of this vibrant shade. There were also rumours of running out of pink paint, which I thought were surely a strategic marketing ploy. When I dug a bit deeper it turns out the paint suppliers, Rosco, had a limited supply anyway due to COVID jamming up their supply chain and the Texas deep freeze, but I still have my suspicions. Luckily, trailers of the film indicate no lack of pink so it’s assumed they got through this “unexpected challenge” *wink wink*.

2. A Full Dream House in Plastic, It's Fantastic!

In a genius collaboration with Airbnb, the marketing team managed to bring the Barbie dream house to life, which of course gave people even more to talk about (reviews were mixed, but in this case no publicity is bad publicity… right?) Lucky fans had the chance to stay in a real-life version of Barbie's iconic Malibu dream house – and from the photos this house really looks over the top, just how Barbie would have it. Personally I think I’d find it a bit extreme, but mega fans have gone crazy for the experience, so it deserves a nod for sure. Check it out. 

3. All of the Brand Collaborations

As we know, Barbie knows how to make friends, and apparently so does her marketing team... OPI provided a dazzling array of nail polishes inspired by Barbie's style. NYX brought Barbie's beauty to life with a line of cosmetics. Moon joined forces with Barbie to promote dental hygiene with a touch of glamour. Beis offered Barbie-themed suitcases. Gap contributed clothing options. Funboy made a splash with their Barbie-themed pool collection. Homesick created scented candles that whisked you away to Barbie's world. Ruggable added Barbie-inspired rugs to create the dreamy decor. Impala rolled in with Barbie-themed rollerblades. And did you see the Barbie Crocs? It’s a full blown takeover. And it’s insanely impressive.

4. Even the Metaverse Got Involved

Barbie has always been a fashion icon, and collaborating with Virtual Brand Group (VBG) and Forever 21 was another smart move for the film’s marketing. They developed an AI-designed virtual Barbie fashion collection exclusively available on the "Shop City" metaverse experience on Roblox. "Shop City" allows people to build and operate their own virtual fashion stores, giving them a taste of what it's like to be part of the fashion industry. So with a virtual Barbie fashion experience (complete with in-store looks at Forever 21) the campaign is now spanning universes…

5. Margot's Wardrobe. Need I Say More?

Okay, I will say more. Margot Robbie, star of the film and our friendly Aussie neighbour, has rocked some iconic Barbie looks during the neverending press tour for the film. No doubt another marketing move. It allowed for endless side by side comparison images on social media, and again paid homage to Barbie's rich fashion history, reminding us that Barbie's influence extends beyond the toy aisle. The “what will she wear next” anticipation just keeps building!

6. The Memes!!!

Last but certainly not least, the Barbie marketing campaign has produced countless memes that have spread across the digital world like wildfire. The most popular of course being the iconic AI-generated Barbie poster where you can create your own version with your “This Barbie is…” statement. We even joined the fun and created a set of VM Barbies, because why not!

So there we go, a combination of these epic strategies, and many more, is why we’re seeing pink, and subconsciously counting down the days until we can go and see this movie (or until Barbiemania ends)… When you have what we can only assume to be one of the biggest movie marketing budgets around, “You never know what you can do unless you try!”

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