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A masterclass in marketing from Barbie

by | Jul 21, 2023 | Digital Rockstars

Is this the brand comeback of the century? We certainly think so, and after following the recent Mattel marketing campaign for the new Greta Gerwig “Barbie” movie, released on July 21st, it’s clear to see why!

Back in 2015, the famous doll’s sales hit an all-time low, and the Mattel brand was suffering from negative headlines. This sparked an entire brand makeover, leading to the no-expense-spared, incredibly risky Barbie movie marketing campaign we’ve seen in recent weeks. The Barbie dolls have always had a dedicated following, but how did Mattel &  Warner Bros manage to revitalise this brand for a modern audience? Well we’ll tell you…

They have dominated the news cycle for the last month (at least), they’ve collaborated with over 100 brands with limited edition collaborations, from makeup and fashion to drinks and burgers, heck – they even nailed OOH marketing with a Barbie pink billboard and their famous Barbie font! 

Mattel’s Barbie is EVERYWHERE – it’s no surprise that the Barbie-mania has got everyone talking.

If you needed any more proof that this marketing team knows their stuff, they have given us all a masterclass in user-generated content (and the real5 Digital team have fallen for it hook line and sinker!) – with an AI Barbie selfie generator, Barbie doll boxes popping up, and even a pink Tardis surprised everyone when it appeared at London Bridge as part of the UK premiere celebrations!

Barbie AI Selfies

Barbie’s marketing strategy did not stop there, as a real-life Dreamhouse got the whole internet talking when it appeared on AirBnb and offered people the chance to enter a draw to stay for free. 

This entire campaign has brought new audiences to the brand and has played a significant role in bringing Barbie back to life. By using social media trends and creating engaging brand content, they have managed to build a buzz around the doll’s range and create huge hype around the new movie. It is an expertly crafted campaign that has successfully captured the attention of a young audience and re-engaged nostalgic adults by taking Barbie’s brand in a whole new direction.

Mattel has made the most of a wide range of marketing strategies and channels to pivot Barbie in a fresh direction, not only to build the hype around the launch of the movie but also a revitalization of the brand. By using contemporary platforms such as social media, and paying attention to the evolving social and political landscape, they have shown they are not afraid to take risks to get ahead in an ever-changing market. 

So, is this the brand comeback of the century? We’ll let you decide!