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How Marketing Propelled “Barbie” into the Spotlight

Barbie, the movie premiered in theaters worldwide on July 21, 2023, and has become an instant hit across all media platforms. The influence of marketing on the legendary Barbie brand has led to a worldwide phenomenon and fascination with all things pink. The iconic figure has captured the imaginations of young girls for generations, reaching far beyond the toy industry. Through strategic marketing campaigns, Barbie has adapted and evolved with the times and maintained her relevancy in an era of quick entertainment. Regardless of outward appearances, the message of Barbie has remained consistent for over six decades– YOU can do whatever you put your mind to.

Barbie’s adaptability and evolution prove that the power of marketing can shape a brand’s image and reputation. Barbie’s status as a cultural icon is unwavering, and effective marketing strategies have contributed to her massive success.

What's up with Barbie?

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie film raked in $155 million in the United States during its opening weekend, almost single-handedly reviving the movie theater industry since the start of the pandemic three years ago. The movie has garnered so much attention that Barbie may even be responsible for a pink paint shortage across the globe.

How did Barbie do it?

Beyond the popularity of the Barbie toy itself, Warner Bros.’s investment and collaboration efforts have pushed the newest blockbuster to the front stage with its $150 million marketing budget.

Rent Barbie's Malibu DreamHouse

What’s better than immersing yourself in Barbie’s World? Who wouldn’t want to visit a place without pain or sadness, even for a day? Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse is up on Airbnb’s website, and guests can stay in Ken’s room in this ocean-front home in Malibu, California. With its interactive elements and infinity pool, this dollhouse replica is the perfect vacation spot away from the real world.

Photo: Courtesy of Airbnb

Barbie: The First Fashion Influencer

Barbie has become less of a “get cozy and watch a movie” vibe and more of a fashion runway moment for movie-goers broadcasting their pink, bubbly outfits across social media. Barbie’s collaboration with boohoo made throwing an outfit together for the occasion much easier. A mixture of affordable clothing and a classic pink color palette made it possible for everyone to be like Barbie.

Photo: Courtesy of boohoo

Burger King Barbie

Have you ever seen something more terrifying than when toys and food combine? Usually, pink burgers indicate that somebody didn’t cook them enough, but Burger King has embraced the color. After starting in Brazil, the Barbie Combo has arrived in the United States for Barbie and burger fans alike. American viewers have the opportunity to discover the mystery sauce under the bun.

Photo: Courtesy of Burger King

Final Thoughts (No Spoilers)

While Barbie isn’t suitable for young children (it has a PG-13 rating), the movie’s key takeaways are great life lessons for everyone that are widely discussed:

  1. Change is inevitable. Sometimes, things will get worse before they get better.
  2. Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin, new places, or different environments is okay. Change can be scary, and new places can feel unfamiliar. However, confidence and self-awareness can help us thrive.
  3. Romance is not always the ultimate objective. Barbie teaches us that we need to be independent, critical thinkers as whole beings without external validation. 

Founded in 2012 by Lisa Kribs, TGW Studio is an LGBTQ+/non-binary/women-owned and -operated social impact marketing firm that partners with forward-thinking brands to tell their stories. We’re a full-service marketing firm proudly creating and communicating purposeful experiences for businesses and organizations across sectors and society.

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