Craze for Barbie Merchandise Intensifies as ‘Barbie’ Movie Becomes Cultural Sensation

Following last week’s release of the Barbie movie, Barbie has become a cultural sensation with small businesses in the United States looking to cash on its merchandise. They hope to get eyes on their websites and social media accounts. Small businesses also want to capitalize on the “Barbie hype”.

Brianne Fleming, an adjunct marketing instructor at the University of Florida, believes small businesses may look at the Barbie promotions and dream of that kind of budget and mass brand awareness. The hashtag Barbie, as of July 20, had been used 14.1 million times on Instagram and garnered 50.5 billion views on TikTok.

The Barbie tsunami was brought on by Margo Robbie’s film’s marketing team. Its branded partnerships ranged from Barbie-themed nail polish and roller skates to fashion collabs, clothing for dogs, and ice cream flavors. Matthew Quint, a brand expert at Columbia Business School, said fueling the popularity behind the promotional campaign is the iconic nature that the brand has. He pointed out the that Barbie brand has had countless partnerships and licensing arrangements with brands in related industries.

Free Girl in Floral Dress Playing Mini Bedroom Toy Stock Photo

Quint said when you’re an icon, everyone is familiar with you instinctively. “Add on the marketing push that you get with a Hollywood film, and you’ve got the explosion of attention, content, and partnership around the movie.” He added that the relationship with this brand is with a physical object, with a merchandise item. “It’s a lot easier, when a film adaptation occurs, to not be offended by the sense that this is all about selling a thing rather than just selling a story.”

A New York-based vineyard and distillery, Stoutridge went all-out with a Barbie-inspired hot pink cocktail recipe. Kimberly Wagner, the owner, said it took an hour to create the drink, a mixture of Blue Curacao, grenadine syrup, and club soda. And MoonFire, an art boutique in Texas, hosted a Barbie-themed collaboration with ten small businesses selling hot-pink, Barbie-inspired products. The event’s TikTok video had more than 100,000 views.

Free stock photo of balloon, birthday, bright Stock Photo

Furthermore, a pet retailer Swag Pup promoted Barbie and Ken-themed bandanas for dogs on social media. J. Walker Smith, a marketing expert, says no matter the size of the company, it is important to be on-trend. He believes it’s a very good idea to get behind the Barbie momentum. Smith said small businesses will scoop up more than just young people by taking advantage of the Barbie marketing momentum.

Also Read: Innovative Branding Lessons to Learn From Barbie Movie’s Marketing Campaign

author avatar
Nandika Chand