August 3, 2023
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Barbie: The Complete Marketing Campaign

At the time of writing this blog, the Barbie movie has globally made $795 million on a $145 million budget. The thing about that $145 million number –  it does not include the additional $150 million estimated to be spent on marketing, according to a report from Variety.

Releasing on the same day as fellow blockbuster Oppenheimer, Barbie has been crushing its expectations and leaving all of its competitor films in the dust. Let’s talk about what Barbie has done to make such an expensive marketing budget turn into successful results.

Embracing the Culture

Nostalgia has taken hold of the United States these past few months. With the return of Y2K fashion and films about iconic figures of the 20th century, such as Mario, nostalgia is trending. The cultural phenomenon of Barbie is no different. When you hear Barbie, you might initially think of children. However, the concept of Barbie is one that has influenced almost every generation.

Not only has Barbie followed the cultural trends, they have also created them. A significant part of Barbie’s brand is the color pink, and if you walked into a movie theater during the summer of 2023, you would have seen half of the people wearing that color. In fact, people bought entirely new pink outfits just to see this movie. This proved how the power of a brand, even just the brand’s color, affects its customers.

Brand Partnerships

You may have seen Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse available to book through Airbnb. This wasn’t the only massive partnership between Barbie and another brand this summer. Starting with multiple clothing lines, restaurants, and even candle companies, every business wanted to be a part of Barbie’s success this summer. Even your favorite marketing, strategy, and philanthropy agency had to take part. A full list of Barbie’s partnerships can be found here.

Influencer Partnerships

Along the line of brand partnerships are influencer partnerships. Barbie took their influencer collaboration to the next level. Besides starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, and other notable actors, they also created a star-studded album made specifically for the movie. This album featured some of the world’s most prominent artists, including Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, and Nicki Minaj. Whether you were planning to see the movie or not, you certainly heard about it through these artists. 


Barbie was released the same day as fellow blockbuster film Oppenheimer. Both of these movies could have been the hit summer film of 2023 on their own. When big-budget movies are released on the same day, and they have names you can combine into one word, you get “Barbenheimer.” This meme became free peer-to-peer/social media marketing for both films. Many movie-goers spent an entire day at the theaters to watch both films and compare them. Oppenheimer fans that would have originally only seen Oppenheimer followed the Barbenheimer craze and vice. A lesson can be learned for all marketers out there – timing, whether by luck or strategy, can be crucial to a marketing campaign. 

Conclusion? Go Bold with Marketing

In the end, Barbie showed us that if you are not afraid to go bold with your marketing spend and take your time to craft the complete marketing campaign, the results will come. The success of the Barbie movie marketing campaign is a testament to the power of innovation, partnerships, and brand authenticity. Contact us today if you are in need of help crafting your organization’s complete marketing campaign.

Receive the latest insights monthly.

Our monthly lab report will feature stories about Strat Labs’ Changemakers, industry information, best practices for powering your purpose, digital marketing and branding tips for any size budget, and how to tap into your organization’s community. We promise to keep it light, useful, and funny. Always funny.