Barbie. The original influencer. Officially debuting in 1959 as a creation of Mattel, the iconic doll is about to get a box office makeover with the release of the new Barbie film on 21st July 2023. Starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, the film has become one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year.
And why is that? The Barbie marketing team has been super busy covering all aspects of marketing and consumer PR in the months leading up to the release.

So how have they got everyone talking all things Barbie? Let’s look at 5 Marketing and Consumer PR Strategies that the Barbie film has implemented to win fans’ hearts and get everyone buzzing for release day.

1) Brand collaborations

I love a bit of merch. I remember my excitement when The Lion King was re-released in 2019 and the shops were filling up with new merchandise ready for the film’s release.

Well, the Barbie film is no exception. As reported by ModernRetail, ‘according to official Mattel releases, over 100 brands are participating leading up to the movie’s July 21 release’.

Here are some examples of brands and pop-culture tie-ins that have got Barbie fever.

Proper Snacks

As spotted by the Escapade team, Proper Snacks have partnered with Barbie to release limited edition Barbie-themed sweet popcorn. To coincide with this, Campaign have reported that from the 20th-23rd July 2023, Proper Snacks will open a bright pink “corn-er” shop in Shoreditch, London. Visitors can buy and win merchandise, get Barbie nail art and gems, and enjoy performances from guest DJs. Buses will also be ‘wrapped in a bright pink popcorn pattern’ which will be available to see on London roads.


To celebrate the release of the film Airbnb brought back its listing of Barbie’s iconic Malibu DreamHouse but with a twist- Ken’s hosting. With a new Ken inspired look, fans had the chance to book the house for free for two guests on either the 21st or 22nd July.

Take a look at this sneak peek of what it looked like inside!


Movie props, Easter eggs, and cowboy hats, oh my! Let us show you around the Barbie—sorry, we mean the Ken—Dream House in Malibu. #barbiemovie #margotrobbie #ryangosling #gretagerwig #barbiedreamhouse

♬ original sound – Daily Beast’s Obsessed

Love Island

Who would have thought I would have heard Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie utter the words ‘I’ve got a text!’. But that’s exactly what happened when Warner Bros UK released a crossover Barbie and Love Island advert with Gosling and Robbie summarisng the film with lots of Love Island references.

Check it out below:


When Ken wants to be closed off but Barbie is still open… 😬 #awkward #barbiethemovie #ivegotatext #loveisland

♬ original sound – Warner Bros. UK


Finally, Bumble has become the latest popular app to team up with the Barbie film. As reported by Marketing Dive, from now until the 26th July 2023, the women-first dating app are offering users the chance to ‘match with the movie’s multiple versions of the Barbie and Ken characters…and receive uplifting messages’.

This partnership is an attempt to highlight the app’s Compliments feature which is supposed to help people start conversations with potential matches.

Other brand collabs include Primark, Zara, Forever 21, Xbox, Gap, and Impala Skates; the latter having released the skates that Barbie and Ken wear in the movie.

2) Fashion

The attention to detail from the Barbie marketing team has been top notch. One of my favourite aspects of the campaign has been the Barbie inspired looks that Margot Robbie has been debuting at the film’s premieres around the world.

As you can see in the example above, each look has been inspired by a classic Barbie throughout the ages. Margot told People, ‘We’re finding Barbie references from decades past and just doing it really for the big Barbie fans out there’. This is a great consumer PR example of how these details can strengthen the connection between fans and creators, which in turn will continue the excitement for the big release day.

3) Social Media

Back in April, the Barbie marketing team were already creating excitement for the film with the creation of the ‘Barbie the Movie Selfie Generator’. Fans flocked to social media to use the AI tool where you could upload your photo which would appear on the movie poster, with a tagline ‘This Barbie is a __’.

This was a genius move by the team as it incorporated the trending AI topic of the time and encouraged the creation of user generated content, which could be shared organically on social media platforms to get the Barbie film craze started.

4) Consumer PR Interviews

Dreamhouse Tour

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in the Barbie Dreamhouse? And how the Barbie film would bring this to life?

The answers lie in Margot Robbie’s exclusive Dreamhouse tour for Architectural Digest which featured the pink house in all its glory. This included Robbie talking through her favourite elements of the set, such as the Barbie wardrobe which magically gets your outfit ready for the next day, the slide that leads to the pool, and the see-through house design so all the Barbies could see each other.

Check out the video below:

This interview was a great example of a consumer PR strategy that connected with fans. As reported by The Independent, ‘fans praised the movie set and noted that they could picture Barbie living here’. They loved the fact that the movie didn’t rely on CGI to create the Barbie world and the team were dedicated to building the actual set. They hoped this would create great chemistry with the actors. Overall, this interview had a positive impact on fans’ opinions of the movie before it was even released!

Pink Paint Shortage

Another consumer PR interview that had fans talking was the claim by production designer Sarah Greenwood that the film’s creation had led to the international shortage of pink paint. Media outlets ran with this, and it created quite a stir as a quirky story that encapsulated a key theme of Barbie – pink, pink, and more pink.

As reported by The Guardian, Lauren Proud, vice-president of global marketing at Rosco (which was the paint company used for the film) gave extra context by saying they ‘used as much paint as we had’. This also coincided with the wider supply chain problems during Covid-19, so although they might not have been the sole cause of the shortage, the Barbie film did clean Rosco out of all the pink paint they had at that time.

5) Oppenheimer rivalry

21st July 2023 is not just Barbie release day. Oppenheimer, a film about the development of the atomic bomb, is also being released on the same day. And this has created a storm of endless mashups, memes, jokes, and discussions about what film team you are on.

This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Barbie team with a recent picture on their socials showing star Margot Robbie and director Greta Gerwig holding tickets to Oppenheimer, as well as the latest Mission Impossible and Indiana Jones films. They captioned the post ‘Mission: Accepted!’ and wrote the comment ‘Sharing the love’. This was in response to Tom Cruise posting a similar picture with a Mission Impossible ticket being switched for a Barbie film ticket.

Fans loved this recognition as many have been purchasing tickets to watch Oppenheimer and Barbie on the same day, with a debate circling around about what order to watch the films.

This shows how in touch the marketing team are about the latest discourse for the film and how by being quick to act on what fans are talking about, they will have gained more respect and love towards the film itself.


Overall, the marketing and consumer PR strategies for the Barbie film have been widespread and extremely popular. The attention to detail has produced genuine excitement and buzz around the film’s release and I’m sure it will be a great contributor to what I feel will be a hugely successful film launch.

But an important question remains…are you team Barbie or team Oppenheimer?

Want to deep dive into other consumer PR campaigns? Check out Escapade’s blog posts on 5 Lessons Brands can Learn from Love Island, and Marketing Strategies to Takeaway from the Superbowl!

In need of a consumer PR agency? Click through to our Contact page, we would love to hear from you!


Blog Cover Photo: Linda Staf/