It’s not every day that leaked photos are good for branding. But in the summer of 2022, images from the set of Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Barbie” hit social media and tweeters, TikTokers and tastemakers across all platforms went feral over Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling sporting pink and platinum blonde.
‘Barbie’ is the marketing marvel of the summer
The images, and an endless supply in the months since, became instant memes and the subject of cultural obsession more than a year before the film’s July 21 theatrical debut.
Perhaps creating a movie out of a cultural icon seems a safe bet in the era of franchises and IP. But the upcoming “Barbie” film has already created a mythos and batch of devotees, including brands, all its own by curating viral moments leading up to its summer release.
Buzzy trailer launches, a branded selfie generator, the “Barbie” soundtrack launch and even an Architectural Digest set tour (with over 6 million YouTube views as of writing) have bolstered the film’s long-running hype like bricks in the foundation of a Dreamhouse. The film has also capitalized on the celebrity power surrounding it, from stars Robbie and Gosling to cameo performer and soundtrack contributor Dua Lipa to “Barbie World” singers Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice.
“Barbie” also benefits from a roster of partnerships, such as a crossover show “Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge” with HGTV, custom ad creative from insurer Progressive and deep collaborations with Barbie-parent company Mattel.