Needless to say, the Barbie movie brought in big cash not just for Mattel but also for other businesses who decided to ride their very pink and sparkly wave. There are many takeaways from the Barbie movie but these are some of the things marketers and business owners can learn from it. Barbie has been around for more than 60 years which means it has been around for many generations making the movie Iconic for many.
“Barbie brought close to $1.3 billion at the worldwide box office, it became one of the only female-dominated movies among the top-grossing films of all time.” — NPR
The Power of Branding
Barbie’s brand is STRONG. Barbie has built a strong and enduring brand over the years therefore over many generations. One of the reasons Barbie has been able to build a strong brand is because of how consistent Mattel has been in keeping Barbie’s iconic characteristics while staying relevant to the times. The famous silhouette of Barbie can be recognized just by the ponytail. The shade of pink Mattel uses will forever be Barbie Pink. This is proof that keeping your brand consistent will create a lasting impression.
Storytelling and Emotional Connection
Although Barbie is just a doll children could take and apply their own imagination to, Mattel took the toy to another level by introducing movies and shows to give Barbie a story filled with adventures. People were able to connect with the different versions of Barbie at a level that other toys don’t. Barbie is not just a doll but also a character while at the same time a blank canvas because Barbie can be anything you want her to be.
People have a strong emotional connection with Barbie because many people grew up playing with Barbies and her movies and shows only reinforce this. Children often explore their emotions and thoughts through play and Barbie and her other friends like Ken, gave children the tools to make sense of the world. Since Barbie has been around for many generations, this emotional connection has also been passed down from generation to generation.
Once the movie came out, her audience was ready to receive it with open arms. The movie’s intended demographic grew up with Barbies and has probably been craving to reconnect with that part of their childhoods. Because these people are adults now, they have dealt with adult issues and why would Barbie not help them process their world once again? This audience was perfectly prepped for a movie like this.
Diversity and Inclusion
Barbie has been the center of attention surrounding diversity and inclusion because the original Barbie was designed as an unattainable perfect-bodied woman. Mattel has gone under criticism for modeling an unattainable standard to girls making them feel like if they wanted to be like Barbie, they had to also look like her. This of course was not the original intent of the creator of Barbie, however, Mattel took a long time to be more inclusive and diverse. Though it took a long time, Barbie is more inclusive and diverse than it has ever been. They have dolls of all shapes and sizes and different skin tones, and they showcase different disabilities. The Barbie movie was not any different, the diversity in the cast was great and the movie did address some of the controversies they had faced. However, it is important to remember that the movie was made by Mattel.
As business owners and marketers, it is important to remember to be purposeful with the ways we add diversity and inclusion in everything we do. It is important to remember who our audience is and remember that if we want them to relate to our product or service, they need to be able to see themselves represented.
Leveraging Licensing and Partnerships
There is a reason why you see Barbie’s branding everywhere and it’s not just good branding, but partnerships. Barbie has had countless collaborations throughout the years. Everything from cosmetics to sports gear. Marketing for the recent Barbie movie was no different. Barbie had collaborations with Beis, AirBnb, Coldstone, Aldo, and so many others. They have always had many collaborations with brands but since the movie was targeted towards adults, Mattel started collaborations with brands many adults are already in love with. This benefits both Mattel and the brands they collaborate with because they not only get to sell their products but also build up excitement for the movie which only makes people want to keep buying. In an ideal world, this snowballs.
In the time of social media, this is easier to do than ever. Influencers and UGC (user-generated content) make collaborations available to even the smallest budgets. The right collaboration can help a business tremendously. To read more about it, read our blog How Influencers Can Elevate Your Brand, How to Choose The Right Influencer For Your Business.
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