The "Barbie World" Marketing Strategy:  Why The Life In Plastic Is Fantastic!

The "Barbie World" Marketing Strategy:  Why The Life In Plastic Is Fantastic!

Marketing experts have lauded Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie campaign as a genius marketing lesson and not simply a fleeting social media trend. The blitz promotional stunts are drawn straight from the lyrics "I'm a Barbie girl in the Barbie world/Life in plastic, it's fantastic!" and appear to perpetuate the "Barbie World" everywhere and anywhere. Unsurprisingly the campaign saw Barbie product tie-ins amongst Mattel (Barbie’s maker), Warner Bros. (Barbie’s movie-maker), and a whooping 100+ companies.

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The Barbiecore fashion trend includes Barbie-inspired fashion in hot-pink, bubblegum pink, and fuchsia. Silhouettes range from latex mini dresses to dainty fit-and-flares, replete with feathers, sparkles, ultra-high-heel footwear, plastic hair clips, and holographic and fluorescent accessories.

The trend is mainly perpetuated by the Barbie movie's press tour "pink carpets" wherein lead actor Margot Robbie nailed real-life near-identical recreations of the Mattel doll's outfits. All major fashion houses like Prada, Chanel, Versace, Valentino, Balmain, Maison Schiaparelli, and Vivienne Westwood collaborated for these press tour attires—including bags, accessories, and make-up. Shoe-wear giants like Manolo Blahnik, Louboutin, and ALDO also delivered the Barbiecore range of luxury shoewear.

Fast-fashion brands also embraced the Barbiecore vibe in its merchandise. Brands like GAP and Forever 21 delivered hot-pink hoodies, cut-out mini dresses, and Gingham Barbie cardigans to cater to the growing demand for Barbiecore. There is also a Barbie X Fossil watch collection.

Greta Gerwig's Barbie marketing campaign is sustained by Mattel’s diverse range of Barbie dolls that sees inclusivity in toy design. This series involves Barbie dolls from various ethnicities, with different body types and skin tones. There are "curvy" Barbies, transgender Barbies, Barbies with a hijab, and Barbies with Down Syndrome and hearing aids.

A Barbie’s pink-drenched Malibu DreamHouse has hit Airbnb. Drawing from the concept of the iconic Barbie dreamHouse, the Airbnb features an ocean facing mansion with a Barbie infinity pool, a disco ball-lit dance floor, Ken's and Barbie's closets, plastic horses, and pink barbecues! Staying is free, but every visit counts as a one-time stay!

Thanks to Barbie's crossover with Xbox's Forza Horizon 5, gamers can "hit the road" in Barbie's classic Chevrolet Corvette with its EV conversion (1956)  or Ken's GMC Hummer EV pickup (2022 ).

There is also Microsoft's Barbie Xbox Series S, a console nestled inside a three-story Barbie DreamHouse. It has the SCUF Instinct Custom Controller that offers interchangeable faceplates inspired by the distinctive on-screen outfits of Barbie and Ken.

The dessert company Pinkberry introduced the "Barbie Land Berry Pink" yogurt consisting of a blend of strawberry and dragon fruit flavored frozen yogurt topped with dream sprinkles.

Not wanting to be left behind, Burger King Brazil introduced a burger featuring bubblegum pink sauce. It is part of the "Barbie Meal" that includes a pink shake, pink doughnut, and 'Ken fries' (plain potato fries, as "Lui, c’est juste Ken"). MacDonalds have also initiated Barbie X McDonald's Happy Meals that are providing Barbie figurines with meal combos.

Drawing from the Barbie DreamHouse maximalist aesthetics, market research shows that Barbie interior decor is on the rise. Preceded by millions of Barbiecore vision-boards on Pinterest, this trend sees customers embracing fuschia bathrooms, hot pink kitchen appliances, neon accents, pink wallpaper, and the backyard Barbie oasis.

As part of the Barbie marketing campaign, Mattel partnered with the furniture company Joybird to produce pink sofas, bedroom sets, and accent chairs in a deep jewel pink tones.

Barbie's production house Warner Bros created the Barbie Selfie Generator website to help people recreate customized versions of Gerwig's film posters. Twitter and Instagram are flooded with selfies, from celebrities and commoners alike, featuring the Barbie logo and the poster text.

The famous Barbie Airbnb also forms part of Mattle's charity venture The Barbie Dream Gap Project that fuels female empowerment. In honor of Gerwig's film, Airbnb will make a donation to the charity "Save the Children".