Barbie: ‘Is this a masterclass in brand partnerships’?

Barbie maniaYou all knew it was coming. We all knew it was coming. But was anyone actually prepared for such a barrage of Barbie? Funnily enough, Mattel saw it coming too, having signed licensing deals with more than 100 brands, so perhaps the only place you won’t see pink is on the Moon (but don’t bet against it).

Airbnb, TfL, Pinkberry, Fossil, Forever 21, Gap, Funboy, Aldo, Boohoo, Hot Wheels, Primark, Inkberry frozen yoghurt, NYX cosmetics, Hellmann’s and even glassware, roller skate, candle and plastic-free chewing gum brands have jumped on board – some official, others slightly more “guerrilla”.

Then there’s the Barbenheimer phenomenon of watching Barbie and Oppenheimer as a double bill. Funnily enough that doesn’t seem to have caught on in this industry. After all, while Barbie apparently portrays unadulterated fun (we haven’t seen it yet), Oppenheimer culminates in the death of tens of thousands of people. Not exactly a marketer’s dream.

And while there are scores of campaigns we could review, we are leaving it to VaynerMedia EMEA managing director Daisy Domenghini to sum up Barbiemania.

She explained: “All of a sudden, everything is pink. While Barbiecore comes back into fashion every six to eight years, it was supercharged when stills of Margot Robbie from the upcoming film were released last year. But was the brand aware? And were they really listening to why and how people were engaging with their brand again? Could they use that information to help market their next product?

“The answer to all of the above has been an emphatic yes. The marketing teams behind the Barbie movie have led a masterclass in understanding consumer attention and using it to choose brand partnerships.

“From selfie generators to Barbie Dream Home tours with Margot Robbie, the brand has shown they know who their many audience segmentations are – or, as we call them, cohorts – and created tie-ins and experiences that appeal to them.

“Barbie’s star had been waning. Even with an admirable push towards inclusivity the brand was still struggling for relevance. Yet even before the movie was launched, we were seeing hundreds of ways for it to reach new audiences.

“How to keep it going? Well, all the movie has to do is be as good as the marketing campaign. Not something our industry says very often.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, if that really is a masterclass in understanding consumer attention and using it to choose brand partnerships, give us the mass destruction of Oppenheimer any day…

Decision Marketing Adometer: A “never mind Barbiemania this is Barbie-overkill” 6 out of 10

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