Lessons from the Barbie movie marketing campaign.
This summer, everyone is seeing pink. That’s right, we’re talking Barbie. Whether you’ve seen the movie or plan to is almost irrelevant. The chatter, the blogs, the merch and the memes all add up to a level of brand awareness and heat that any marketer would envy. The lessons learned from Barbie’s marketing campaign are many, and they apply as much to the professional services as to the entertainment and consumer goods sectors. To get your organization a Barbie-like buzz, borrow a few tricks from the movie’s campaign playbook.
- Flood the zone
To borrow a title from one of last year’s hit movies, part of the Barbie marketing magic comes from seeing the brand on everything everywhere all at once. Wherever you look, you’ll see billboards, interviews, outfits, home furnishings and more. There’s simply no escape from Barbie marketing — and the more you encounter it, the more mindshare it gains.
Whether you are rolling out a focused campaign or a whole new brand, you can use Barbie’s marketing professionals’ strategy for your own benefit. Instead of a one-time announcement, think countdowns, playbooks, email campaigns, social media posts. Use every platform at your disposal to get the word out, over and over, even if it seems repetitive.
- Remember that consistency is key
Not since Tiffany blue has a color been as entwined with a consumer brand as Barbie pink, and its consistent use has been a cornerstone of the movie’s marketing. It goes without saying that the unusual color has been the focus of digital, print and environmental advertising. In addition, the movie’s stars have worn Barbie-pink outfits to premieres. Paid influencers write about how to get the perfect Barbie-pink manicure or lip gloss, and movie audiences are wearing pink-themed outfits to the theaters.
Just as in Barbie’s pink world, brand consistency will help you distinguish your organization and build its memorability. From logos and color palettes to messaging and content tone, a strong brand identity is a vital part of your marketing toolkit. But it only works if it’s supported by consistency and longevity. Remember, you will get tired of your brand long before your audience will.
- Activate your team
Corporate pronouncements and PR can only go so far in terms of reach and credibility. Luckily, you have your own assets waiting to support your campaign. Just as the Barbie marketing team used influencers and the general community (think personalized Barbie posters) to promote the brand, you can leverage your employees as powerful advocates.
By encouraging your team to be brand ambassadors, they can amplify your brand promise daily — through interactions with your clients, prospects and recruits, and by posting, reposting, liking and commenting on social media. Be sure to arm your employees with the tools needed to help you control how you are seen in the marketplace — from branded merch to positioning playbooks.
- Embrace experiential marketing
Reading about a brand or organization is one thing; living in its culture is another. Barbie has spawned dozens of immersive experiences for fans, ranging from visiting a real-life Barbie dreamhouse to surfing at Barbie’s favorite beach to dressing in Barbie-branded clothes. Professional services organizations can benefit from experiential marketing too. Consider hosting events, workshops or webinars that bring clients F2F with your team. Offer holiday gifts or recruiting swag that strengthens the brand-audience relationship. For a virtual immersive experience, look into building a metaverse property that allows you to do business remotely in an environment that reflects what it feels like to work with you.
- Realize that collaboration is power
From partnerships with Burger King to Crocs to Airbnb, the Barbie marketing team has harnessed the power of cross promotion. They know collabs can extend a brand’s reach, introduce it to new audiences and foster creativity in marketing campaigns. Your organization can benefit from that same thinking. Partner with a client or other group on a community initiative. Work with a competitor to offer diversity training. By showcasing each of your strengths, collabs can benefit both parties.
When you’re ready for more inspiration, grab your Barbie car popcorn container (yes, this is a real thing) and head to the movie theater — and then charge your time to brand development!