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From plastic fantastic to cultural icon: Key takeaways for brands inspired by how Mattel transformed a dated doll into the ultimate influencer.

1. Harnessing nostalgia

Nostalgia is influential in establishing deep emotional bonds between brands and their audience. The Barbie Movie seamlessly tapped into this sentiment by skillfully integrating classic Barbie elements from the past into its marketing strategy. Retro-inspired designs, timeless characters, and the iconic pink colour were thoughtfully incorporated to evoke a sense of nostalgia, transporting fans back to their cherished childhood and allowing them to relive precious memories. This approach appeals to existing fans and captivates a new generation, inviting them into Barbie's enchanting world.

2. Criticism and Adapting

Once penalised for perpetuating plastic perfection, Barbie has transformed in response to criticism, catering to a new generation of fans. The brand has redefined Barbie's appearance and values, emphasising empowerment and self-acceptance. By embracing diversity and inclusivity, Barbie reflects a broader range of individuals through various dolls, careers, body types, and storylines. This evolution goes beyond beauty and fashion, showcasing a deeper understanding of societal values and allowing more people to connect with Barbie personally.

3. Mass Barbie Marketing

Barbie! Barbie! Barbie! That's all everybody is hearing these days. Well, the brand has thrived in targeting almost every single niche by appealing to all ages, generations and interests and tapping into different audiences from automobile and beauty lovers, fashionistas, and foodies and is ultimately leaning into world domination! While most brands would avoid mass marketing as it's ineffective, the power of pink proves this theory wrong as it's flooded every realm of culture. It's clearly Barbie's world, and we're just living in it!

4. Cultural Relevance - She's an icon; she's a legend

Throughout time, Mattel has kept Barbie relevant as they've been sensitive to the cultural landscape of the times. In the 60s, Barbie represented a call to traditional femininity through what was occurring in society and the generational chain. As times kept moving, Barbie kept adapting, which is why we know her today as more inclusive, diverse and the embodiment of girl power.

5. Social media platforms

Through Mattel's strategic use of social media platforms, Barbie has become a literal influencer to market its brand and keep her relevant. Nowadays, Barbie isn't just a doll. Barbie is a fashion icon and social media influencer through Instagram. By developing a page where she can showcase different looks and styles and post pictures of herself in various locations. Not only this but catering to the types of other professions. She's also a vlogger on Youtube. On the video-sharing app, Barbie showcases different aspects of her life through family and friends in 10-minute clips, further giving us insight into her daily Barbie world! It's clear to see Mattel knows what they're doing.

All in all, Mattel's integration of numerous marketing strategies at the height of the Barbie Movie has showcased how brands can revive their relevance. Evident in making the turnaround of the decade, Barbie remains everybody's childhood influencer.


Connect with us to explore how brands can grow and achieve cultural relevance through digital PR and brand storytelling.



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