Marketing Has Been Barbie-fied and It’s Worked

LBB’s Nisna Mahtani speaks to MG Empower, M&C Saatchi Fabric, Milliways, VaynerMedia and PROPER about the buzz of the upcoming Barbie movie and what marketers can learn from the pink phenomenon that’s taken over

Beth Noonan

Director at M&C Saatchi Fabric

You don’t have to look far to notice that it’s not just Barbie who now finds herself ‘in a Barbie world’. Everywhere you look, the iconic Barbie pink tints shop windows, street installations, brand partnerships… even London itself. It’s a marketing take-over at a scale that we haven’t seen in a long time, and it’s working.

With a film as iconic as the Barbie movie, with such high expectations and a star cast, the release was always going to generate impressive coverage. The marketing team could have sat back on that assurance, and let the film speak for itself. But instead, they have leant into the heritage brand’s credentials, connected with people emotionally and as a result, dominated the news agenda with remarkable success. The scale of marketing has gone beyond promoting the release, it has turned the Barbie IP into a lifestyle brand for the summer, making it relevant to consumers’ passions across fashion, travel, music and beyond.

What’s more, the brand has reached the masses by tapping into all the things people love; there’s something for everyone’s passions. We’re seeing partnerships with beauty brands, jewellery brands, fashion brands, food products and beyond and it’s translating into blanket coverage across media silos. Landing a legendary pink Doctor Who Tardis on the shore of the river Thames, the brand managed to successfully collate three famous British icons, reaching the heart of the British public by playing on local nuances and collective national passions.

At M&C Saatchi Fabric, we specialise in building people-first communities with brands at their heart, connecting people to one another through brands. Barbie is the ultimate example of this; the brand has created an unmissable cultural spectacle for the summer of ’23, and consumers can’t help but join the party.

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