Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The Power of Pink

A few weeks ago, I was able to catch a movie. I actually went to the movie theater. What movie caught my eye? What brought me out to a movie theater? You guessed it. The one and only – Barbie.

I had Barbies growing up, but I was not one of those fans who counted down the days until the movie’s release. In fact, I did not plan to watch it on the big screen, but the marketing team at Barbie had my social media buzzing.

The combined release of Barbie and Oppenheimer—dubbed “Barbenheimer”—became a pop culture sensation. There were memes left and right about Barbenheimer. The event possibly revived the movie theater industry. According to CNN, Barbenheimer led to the fourth highest-grossing industry weekend of all time in North America, totaling about $302 million.

Here are three things that the Barbie marketing team did that made me choose to go to the movie theater:
  • The movie trailer went old-style. Movie trailers have been atrocious lately, giving away the whole movie. With Barbie, the marketing department managed to avoid this pitfall by instead largely playing out the opening scene followed by a quick montage offering a sneak peek of Barbieland sets and dance sequences. This approach provided an accurate taste of the distinctive comedic atmosphere of Barbie.
  • They highlighted Barbie as a film of a 2020s world, and, in this world, anyone can be Barbie or Ken. The marketers created a “Barbie Selfie Generator” website, where people could put their own selfies or any image into the format of the Barbie character poster, complete with text options that allowed people to say “This Barbie is …” or “This Ken is …” This was an ingenious way to get people involved in sharing Barbie-related materials – to the point where these were being used with characters from other movies and TV shows. Movie theaters across the nation also had a big Barbie box for photo-ops.
  • They used color association as a critical part of the marketing scheme. Pink galore! The marketing team really drove the point home that this was a Barbie movie with a capital B. They ran with the fact that pink is THE Barbie color in trailers and TV Spots. Nostalgia came knocking for longtime Barbie fans, allowing the media and its users to take marketing to the next level.
Barbie continues to take the world by storm. As of September 8Barbie's domestic gross was about $613 million, while its foreign tally was about $772 million. It is set to become only the thirteenth movie in history to cross the $600 million mark domestically. If you haven’t already seen it, I highly recommend it.

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