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Barbiecore Summer Marketing Trends

The Feminist Impact of the Barbie Movie Phenomenon

This summer has witnessed an explosion of pink, glitz, and iconic bubblegum vibes, thanks in large part to the blockbuster movie "Barbie". Barbiecore, a term that has taken the internet by storm, isn't just about revisiting our nostalgic love for the iconic doll; it's also a reflection of empowerment, and the ongoing evolution of feminist pop culture. The summer sun might still be shining bright, but there’s nothing as dazzling as the eruption of Barbiecore. Here's why this summer is unmistakably the season of Barbie.


Unpacking the Innovative "Barbenheimer Approach"

Hitting the screens with a splash of color and a message that resonates, "Barbie" has not just been a cinematic success but a cultural phenomenon. Breaking records as the highest-grossing film directed by a female director (Greta Gerwig), it's a glowing testament to the fact that feminist themes have more than just a niche appeal - they're central to our mainstream narrative.


The story behind the record-shattering numbers isn’t just the relatability of the Barbie character, but the pioneering marketing strategy backing it. Dubbed the "Barbenheimer approach", this new wave of movie marketing, as detailed by SensorTower, is centered on strategic marketing investment, immersive experiences, and a seamless blend of digital and physical touchpoints.


From June 27-July 27, Barbie invested $10 million into a multi-pronged marketing strategy. Barbie marketers allocated 36% of the movie’s budget to Instagram ads, driving an impressive 45% of overall campaign impressions from this platform. Following this investment were over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.


In the digital advertising space, OTT advertisements continue to gain traction as this segment of the industry gains measurability and audience. Today, streaming services like Hulu and Paramount+ have overtaken traditional cable TV in popularity with 57% of consumers getting their television content from digital streaming channels. Barbie harnessed this opportunity by allocating more than 32% of its budget to OTT streaming video ads.


The timing of the Barbie movie’s marketing campaign was also key. In the 23 days preceding the movie’s release on July 21, marketers built anticipation among their target audience with social media teasers, trailers, and behind-the-scenes content.


Notably, marketing efforts did not stop once the movie was released. In fact, the success of Barbie’s could be attributed to continued marketing investment post-release, with Barbie marketers continuing to invest in Instagram and YouTube ads following the movie’s release on July 21.


The "Barbillion" Impact

The impact of these innovative marketing efforts were undeniable. In less than three weeks, "Barbie" generated $1.03 billion at the box office worldwide, making director Greta Gerwig the first female director to hit that milestone.


What’s more, the movie held the number-one box office spot in the world's biggest markets — the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, Australia — every weekend since its release. The movie even performed well in China, the second-largest market in the world and one that has become increasingly insular over the past few years.


With 65% of Barbie's audience female and 81% of audience members younger than 35, the success of the movie clearly affirms the power of the female consumer.


Barbiecore Palette: A Nostalgic Splash of Color


If you've found yourself gravitating towards pinks and pastels this summer, you're not alone. The Barbiecore inspired color palette has been impossible to ignore:

  • Bubblegum Pink: The quintessential Barbie shade, this color embodies the vibrancy and audacity of the Barbiecore movement.

  • Azure Blue: Reminiscent of Barbie's many summer adventures and her iconic convertible.

  • Yellow Gold: Reflecting the glamour and luxury associated with the Barbie world.

  • Mint Green: A nod to the vintage era, echoing the softer side of the Barbiecore palette.

  • Lavender: A dreamy hue, capturing the whimsy and fantasy of Barbie’s universe.


A Global Barbie World

Beyond fashion and box office numbers, another triumph of the "Barbie" movie was its inclusion of diverse narratives. Among an impressive cast of stars, two actresses also had roles in the film who proudly sported traditional Filipiniana, a trend of cultural representation in modern everyday life. This included Filipina Ana Cruz Kayne, who donned an elegant terno designed by the renowned Dennis Lustico in the film and Filipino beauty queen Julia Saubier. Not only did this showcase Filipino culture and fashion to a global audience, it also demonstrated the importance of diverse cultural representation in modern cinema.


The power of the female consumer

As we revel in Barbiecore summer, it’s essential to recognize the broader implications of the "Barbie" movie's success. Beyond the pink glitz, it's a celebration of female empowerment, an ode to innovative marketing, and a reminder that feminist themes have a powerful place in mainstream media and the global economy.


Stay tuned for more insights and trends on WeSparq's blog. Join us in celebrating the creativity, the colors, and the stories that shape our world.


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