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  • Writer's pictureGhazal Kawar

Barbie's New World: Marketers.

Congratulations, marketers. You are now living in #Barbie's world. Welcome to a captivating world where pink tones and boundless creativity sway supreme.

In my first year of college, I immersed myself in captivating class discussions centered around the global impact of Barbie's marketing messaging spanning the last six decades. The iconic doll's influence on young minds, particularly the concerns about the negative body image it allegedly perpetuated among girls, especially the circumstances surrounding negative body image, sparked intense debates among professors and peers alike.

"Barbie shouldn't target children because it promotes unrealistic beauty standards, which can harm the self-esteem of young minds. The pressure to look like the doll, with its perfect and slender appearance, could have negative effects." - One of my professors.

But over the past two years, I've witnessed the magical transformation of Barbie's marketing team! They've become the ultimate #dreamteam, sprinkling plenty of pink into their every move. Seeing how this iconic doll has thrived and endured over the last six decades is like witnessing marketing magic at its finest! Let's dive into the world of pink wonders.

The New Barbie Movie

We all know the iconic swoosh of Nike’s logo, standing solo without the brand’s name. That’s the power of a truly memorable brand. But who thought that a single shade of pink would grow to be an unmistakable hue that spells “Barbie” wherever you see it? That’s the enchanting spell the queen of dolls (aka its marketing team) has cast upon the world. Mattel’s brand has owned that famous pink hue (colour code: #e94196) for generations, finding its place in the hearts and brains of people everywhere.

Barbie has soared into the world of collaborations with a movie budget of an outstanding USD 150 million. It’s safe to say that fashion and beauty have always been her closest companions; Barbie matted herself with renowned brands like OPI, Gap, Moon, Homesick, NYI, Forever 21, Aldo, Fossil, Vans, Kipling, Zara, and so much more before the movie’s release.

Even still, the genuinely captivating collaborations are those that break free from the confines of fashion and beauty. Wouldn’t seeing Barbie's dream house come to life in the real world be miraculous? Airbnb dared to dream with Barbie, making a life-sized Malibu mansion that transformed the power of imagination into actuality.

"While everyone's favourite doll makes her live-action film debut, Ken is handing over the keys and hosting an overnight stay in the newly renovated and iconic Malibu Dreamhouse" - Airbnb

If Barbie's and Airbnb's collaboration is insufficient, how about some hot pink sauce on your burger? I'm being serious; Burger King in Brazil has created a Barbie burger with smoky hot pink sauce and bacon bits with a side of Ken's potatoes in a combo meal with a Barbie milkshake and doughnut for dessert.

Along the same lines, Grill'd Healthy Burgers in Australia has created the Barbie Dreamburger, which consists of a pink burger, snack chips, Raspberry Sodaly, and pink mayo dip. (Talk about people and brands trying to out-barbie each other).

We’ve seen that Barbie has conquered the realms of fashion & beauty, lodging, and the food & beverage industry, but guess what? She’s already making waves in the tech industry as well. Just weeks before the movie’s premiere, Microsoft launched a pinkalicious surprise: a Barbie-themed Xbox S series! Not only that, but the brand has also made fashion-forward gaming consoles inspired by Barbie and Ken and their on-screen outfits, allowing gamers to conquer the virtual world in pink.

Was Barbie's marketing strategy too pinkish?

There are some articles out there that feel that Barbie's marketing was a tad oversaturated and it's just annoying and ineffective. However, I beg to differ. In today's digital age, where content bombards us at every turn, impactful marketing is the key to being memorable.

“They’re picking these different areas because they realize, ‘hey, if we’re here, we’re reaching audiences with these unique brand collaborations and we’re going to be able to reach the masses’, they’re reaching the masses and that’s the way to do it in today’s world.” - Eunice Shin

As for me, I'd paint the world pink if I had my way. So, what do you think? Did Barbie's marketing team overdo it? In my book, there's no such thing as too much pink magic!


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