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Branding Strategy
July 24, 2023

Barbie's Cohesive Brand Experience

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We survived “Barbenheimer” weekend; now let’s talk about all the marketing because, as Moshe Isaacian put it, “The devil works hard, but Barbie’s marketing team is INSANE.” 

Barbie marketing is off the charts and way out of our budget. But with over 100+ brand collaborations, Barbie is absolutely unavoidable. So unavoidable that the Oppenheimer movie is also benefiting from their crazy marketing with something no one could have predicted with the trending hashtag #Barbenheimer, promoting a double feature of polar opposite movies.

Let’s break down the vastness that is Barbie marketing and how it can relate to your marketing:

Creating Excitement

Hollywood starts marketing movies very early to build anticipation and excitement. Businesses should do the same. The Barbie Team strategically teased different elements of the movie very early. People are drawn to the unknown, and slowly releasing details creates intrigue. This process takes lots of planning, time, and patience. The Barbie team created a massive buzz. 

User-Generated Content

The Barbie team knew they need a massive amount of user-generated content. So they created a free AI-powered Barbie Selfie Generator, which users then post to their social media—literally marketing to 100’s of thousands of people for free. Barbie’s team didn’t know for sure that it would go viral, but the important lesson is they put it out there as an option for users to embrace. User-generated content has the highest engagement and is free marketing for businesses. Give people the opportunity to create content for your brand.

Brand Collaborations

This is nothing new for the Barbie brand, but they did take it to a whole new level. It appears as if they did not turn down a single-brand collaboration. With over 100+ brand collaborations, this magnifies Barbie’s reach to so many audiences, from kids to adults. It truly shows the power of brand partnerships and collaboration. They provide so many upsides for all involved; seeking and creating these partnerships is an amazing way to find new audiences and showcase your brand.

Defined Brand

Barbie has been cultivating since the 60s cohesive brand experience, but Mattel needed to bring Barbie to 2023. They were able to build on the past throughout all of their marketing and brand collaborations, utilizing their signature Pink but creating new key messaging like “She’s everything, he’s just Ken.” They strategically kept Barbie's iconic image and propelled it into a new generation who will make Barbie their own. When you look at any of the marketing from the new movie you instantly see the connections. Providing a customer with a consistent experience across all touchpoints and interactions with your brand is so important because it builds trust and fosters a sense of familiarity.

Uncluttered Design

Speaking of Barbie Pink, the team leaned into the iconic color and brand recognition by creating an iconic billboard with only a date. This minimalist advertising approach is something that any brand can experiment with. But it also speaks to truly understanding where your advertising is being placed. People viewing this billboard we driving by on a busy highway at 65 mph. They only have seconds to focus on it and remember what the advertisement told them.

The Barbie movie marketing brought a 60-year-old brand into 2023. The movie’s marketing team has shown us how branding strategies matter. It teaches us that brands can capture attention, build loyalty, and generate buzz for their services. Like Barbie, brands can boost awareness and engagement by infusing innovation, consistency, and strategic vision into their marketing.

Now we can’t all be Barbie, but we can all have cohesive brands. To learn more about creating your consistent brand, check out our article on "Why Madak Creates Brand Guides".

This week's Madak Monday was written by:

Elli Haddick

Senior Marketing Manager