Barbie Movie Makes Brand Dreams Come True

Sergio Oliveri |
 07/28/23 |
4 min read

Barbie Movie Makes Brand Dreams Come True

Barbie is undeniably a hit in movie theaters, grossing $162M USD in its opening weekend alone. This success did not happen spontaneously, though. In the months leading up to its release, the film made brands’ dreams come true with momentum-building promotions that elevated the movie and its partners’ brands and products.

Exploring brand mentions in the context of “Barbie” over the past six months, we see several ranging from toys and fashion to travel and fitness. Barbie can be anything to anyone, and she can also appeal to everyone, regardless of industry. And we’ll see this in action as we explore a few examples of this phenomenon below.

As we can see above, toys weren’t the only products on the promotional list, not by a long shot. This makes sense, as the audience for the movie wasn’t really kids, after all

Adult-sized promotions to suit every audience

As we explore demographics, we see the most common professions include students, homemakers, assisted services, and creatives. It’s an audience to which America Fererra’s Barbie monologue resonates deeply.

professions of barbie audience

And we see a fairly distributed age breakdown for this PG-13 film, with younger audiences, under age 34, over-indexing. But just shy of half (49%) are aged 35+ making this a consumer marketing mix that any brand would love:

ages of barbie audience

And love it, they do! The promotions are as extraordinary as the movie’s box office stats.

As Vox shares, “the amount of Barbie film branded merch is pretty mind-numbing.

A collection with Gap, Barbie x Bloomingdales, hot pink roller suitcases with luxury luggage brand Beis, a capsule collection with sneaker brand Superga, more makeup and skin care sets than we’re willing to count, accessories with Fossil, even a full-on assortment of clothes and accessories at Hot Topic, . . . Furniture brand Joybird has a slate of Barbie Dreamhouse-inspired seating to adorn your home. In Brazil, there’s even a limited-edition Barbie cheeseburger from Burger King that’s dressed with a disturbingly pink sauce.”

There was also a privately owned home, designed to resemble a real-life Malibu Dreamhouse, offering a room rental via Airbnb. And there’s an ongoing HGTV’s Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge for the DIY crowd—a team of Barbie influencers will pick the winner.

That’s far from the full brand story, though. This is a trend with staying power. Consumers are in a Barbie frenzy, and the emotions are anything but plastic.

Passionate and Potentially Enduring Response for Everything Barbie

The push for pink products kicked off in late May – 5/25 to be exact, when Dua Lipa’s Dance the Night was released.

barbie movie summary metrics

Growth has been slow and steady since, with something Barbie everywhere you turn, as evidenced by the variety of brand promotions detailed above.

Reactions to the film are strong, as evidenced in the movie’s Brand Passion Index score, as captured over the past three weeks. The lightest bubble is from two weeks ago when the move captured a Net Sentiment of 68 and Passion Intensity of 95.

Net Sentiment ranges from -100 to +100. A net sentiment score of +100 means that all opinions of the brand are positive; a score of -100 means that all opinions of the brand are negative. Most brands have a net sentiment score of 50. 

Passion intensity indicates the level of strong or weak emotions toward the brand. Here, a score between 0 and 100 expresses the ratio of the difference between strong emotions (such as “love” or “hate”) and weak emotions (such as “like” or “dislike”) to all emotions expressed about a brand.

As the conversation volume has grown about the movie each successive week, the sentiment and intensity have lessened, finding the film at an emotional crossroads as it continues to build momentum. It will be interesting to see how these metrics change in the coming weeks:

barbie movie brand passion index

And this medley of emotion continues to build awareness of this marketing machine.

top terms with sentiment about barbie movie

It’s good timing for Mattel, according to Thomas Buckley at Fortune, as it would be for any toy company. They’re all struggling when compared to the numbers they were pulling in during the pandemic.

“Mattel, like other toymakers, is fighting a slump in sales after the pandemic prompted parents and retailers to stock up on toys for kids stuck at home. With consumers now pulling back, retailers are still working through all of that extra inventory and have been slashing prices on toys.”

As Sherwood Media reports, “The ‘Barbie’ halo effect is expected to boost doll sales by 16% over the next three years” and “shares of Barbie parent Mattel jumped 2% yesterday (and are up 20%+ this year) on hopes the film would glam up sales for the toy maker.”

And this Barbie Machine isn’t even close to stopping, as we see new brand promotions revealed every day. It’s the “it” show of the summer and brands watching consumer buzz were prepared to find a way to align whatever product they were offering.

And guess what? There’s still time for your brand to catch the tailend of this promotion window if you move really fast! Reach out for a demo and we’ll show you how to capture and create ideas that will resonate and help amplify your brand or product’s voice and create your own brand dreamworld!

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