Digital Marketing

Pink Goes with Everything: What Every Brand Can Learn From Barbie’s Marketing Strategy

Mel McCoy

Come on, Barbie, let’s go party! Except if anyone should be partying, it’s the Barbie movie’s marketing team.

With a marketing strategy that’s been nothing to toy with, the Warner Bros. marketing team has painted the world pink leading up to the Barbie movie premiere on July 21st. Now, grossing $775M globally and counting in its first two weeks, Barbie’s marketers are watching their efforts turn from pink to green.

But the truth is, you don’t need a multi-million dollar budget or a Greta Gerwig screenplay to leave your audience in awe (although it helps). Let’s unbox what every marketer can learn from this year’s marketing Barbie-blitz and how any brand can incorporate these strategies to strike a chord with customers.

Plastic melts, nostalgia is forever

For many, the Barbie movie's marketing naturally breeds nostalgia. Mainly because of each person's unique memories and experiences growing up with the doll. But for the Barbie movie, the marketing strategy finds a perfect balance of innovation and sentimentality that helps usher each audience member into a brand experience that feels both new and familiar.

Take Barbie's viral AI selfie generator, which has generated over 13M users. Proving to be the perfect combo of technology and nostalgia, the artificial intelligence filter helps blend a fun, meme-worthy social media moment into a stream of user-generated content that builds buzz and brand awareness.

Marketer tip: Your brand doesn't specifically need an AI filter or Barbie’s clout to pull on consumers' heartstrings. Nostalgia comes in all forms and even data sets (wink). A great way to build an emotional connection is by transforming consumers' past actions into a moment worth reminiscing. Data visualizations from Year-in-Reviews to monthly snapshots are great ways to give consumers a reason to look back, celebrate, and move forward with your brand.

Hi Barbie! 👋 Hi Brands!

Have things seemed a bit more pink lately? Warner Bros. and Mattel have partnered with a dizzying 100-plus brand partnerships from the GAP to Burger King. However, these limited-time collaborations are more than just brands hopping on a Barbie bandwagon; it’s part of Mattel’s wider strategy to expand towards franchises that help elevate the Barbie world past toys - and it’s working!

While these collaborations made it hard to miss Barbie’s pink promotion, here’s something to be said for brands that use  strategic partnerships to help extend their reach. Regardless of your business, collaborations  can help you enhance the brand experience while strengthening existing resources or investments.

Source: InStyle Magazine

Marketer tip: Look to leverage partnerships that are already at your disposal. This can look like finding new ways to maximize your existing technology partners or working with strategic partners in your industry to support joint success stories, events, and cross-promotion.

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Pink goes with everything - and is everywhere

It’s a Barbie world, not a Barbie channel. At the crux of Barbiemania is an omnichannel marketing strategy that blends physical and digital marketing into one seamless Barbie brand experience. From billboards to targeted ads to social media influencers, Barbie’s marketing team has used every available channel to build deeper connections with an audience of all ages.

But Barbie’s marketing team is not the only one operating with an omnichannel mindset; so are the brand partners. For Barbie-core brand collections and products, creating a consistent stream of personalized touchpoints can help inspire consumers to purchase and help deliver the seamless marketing experiences they expect. A great example of this would be browsing a Barbie hoodie on the GAP website and then getting a personalized rich-push message a few days later to complete your purchase.

Marketer tip: A top-tier omnichannel marketing strategy empowers consumers to engage regardless of their preferred channel. Enhancing the consumer-brand experience starts with automated omnichannel personalization that ensures every message is relevant across digital touchpoints  such as email, mobile, in-app, and SMS.

Tap into your marketing Kenergy

The Barbie movie’s cinematic triumph goes beyond the exceptional storyline; it proves the power of phenomenal marketing. By tapping into the ‘Kenergy” and embracing consumer emotions, strategic partnerships, and an omnichannel journey, Barbie’s marketers drove anticipation and excitement, unlike anything we’ve seen in recent years.

It’s time to take a page from Barbie’s playbook. By applying these lessons, any marketer can create an unforgettable marketing journey that resonates with every individual and ultimately drives brand loyalty and success.