Barbiecore: Where Marketing Meets Fashion – Exploring Dynamic Brand Collaborations

And just like that, “barbiecore” is the biggest fashion trend of the summer! With increase in terms such as “hot pink”, “barbie aesthetic”, Barbie-core has taken the world by storm.

 According to google search data, since the trailer of the movie was released last April, “barbiecore” search term increased by over 400% in popularity.

After facing significant criticism for promoting unrealistic body standards, becoming outdated and experiencing a decline in annual net sales between 2013 and 2018, Mattel, who owns Barbie, needed to refocus on their purpose.

barbiecore trend with Margot Robbie
Barbie movie Warner Bros.

Below here is what you can do with a $100 million dollar marketing budget. As Barbie hit the screens, the hype could not have been bigger. To provide you with a frame of reference, the total production budget of the film amounted to $150 million USD.

Barbiecore theme is totally nailing that nostalgia vibe that’s been rocking for a few years now! The awesome folks behind the Barbie brand aren’t just selling dolls; they’re selling you a whole experience, hooking you in at every corner as Barbie becomes a real-world sensation. It’s like living your childhood dreams all over again, but with a groovy modern twist!

What is Barbiecore?

Barbiecore is a bright, vibrant trend defined by a very particular colour pink.

But, Barbiecore isn’t just about wearing a certain shade. It means channeling a confident attitude and exuding happiness into the world, almost infectiously.

Let’s also talk about “Barbieheimer“, the viral trend that is taking the internet by storm.

July 21 was one epic day in the cinematic universe with Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” both hitting the big screen.

And you won’t believe it, but a whole new trend was born – introducing, “Barbieheimer“!

It’s not every day you see such a wild mix of movies dropping at the same time. On one hand, you’ve got this intense, serious film delving into the story of the man behind the atomic bomb and responsible for changing history, and on the other hand, a playful, colorful world of our childhood fave, Barbie!

Naturally, the internet went bonkers with this mind-boggling combo. I mean, who wouldn’t be fascinated by such a crazy collision of genres?! It’s like witnessing a movie mashup of epic proportions!

What is Barbiecore clothing?

Below are a few of my favourite Australian brands that jumped into the barbiecore theme!

DECJUBA – Loulou Ruffle Dress

pink dress

DECJUBA – Carys Boyfriend Blazer

pink suit for barbiecore trend

ALEMAISLeonard fringed mini dress pink

Alemais pink dress

SUMI SUMI – Outfit from my last editorial

SUMMI SUMMI fashion editorial pink suit

MOSSMANIn a daze maxi dress

AJEBaret Sleeved Mini Dress

AJEEcho Mini Shirt Dress

Barbie, aka Margot Robie, is a Versace girl

For a Barbie event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia, the movie star wore a shiny pink metal mesh Versace dress with a sweetheart neckline corset top, which transformed at the waist into a flowy skirt that ended just above her knees.

The dress was an ode to the ’90s as it was inspired by an archival Versace piece originally worn by model Claudia Schiffer in 1994, which her stylist Andrew Mukamal revealed on his Instagram Story. He shared the photo of Schiffer dancing in the dress in which the light beautifully accents the dresses reflective properties, giving the dress a sparkly, ethereal look.

Photo credit: Richard Young Shutterstock

And it’s not the only Versace outfit that Margot Robbie wore to promote the movie.

Robbie wore a pink cable-knit cropped sweater along with a leather box pleat skirt.

She paired the outfit with ankle high pink socks and loafers with gold detailing, and wore simple silver ring accessories and simple rosy makeup.

Her hair was also styled to perfection in perfect waves. Her stylist, Andrew Mukamal shared that the look was also inspired by the 1994-1995 Versace Fall Read-to-Wear collection, sharing a photo of the original look that inspired the outfit.

The detailing is almost an exact match!

Barbiecore blitz: 12 unforgettable brand campaigns

The movie has gone above and beyond with their marketing campaigns. It’s fascinating to note that there’s been an array of products developed through collaborations with various brands.

What’s even more interesting is that these products are no longer solely focused on children, which has been Barbie’s legacy for over 60 years. Instead, they’re targeted towards adults – who are now the intended audience for this film.

Some interesting data about the Barbiecore trend and marketing facts:

  • Videos using the hashtag #Barbie have been viewed more than 9 billion times on TikTok.
  • Throughout the first half of this year 2023, TikTok, YouTube and Instagram Reels used the #Barbie hashtag 145% more than they did all of last year.
  • Since January, close to half a million articles have been written about Barbie, 86,000 of which were published in the past month alone.

Picture this: pink billboards catching your eye at every turn, Barbie elevators taking you to new heights, taxis and buses decked out in full Barbie glory, and even the famous Bondi iceberg pool wrapped in Barbie promo! Trust me, you couldn’t escape it if you tried!

Photo credit: Wolter Peeters

It doesn’t matter if you were stuck on a deserted island; a pink plane would’ve flown right over you, making sure you didn’t miss this dazzling spectacle. This out-of-home advertising strategy was pure genius, breathing new life into the way we see ads out in the real world. It was a Barbie extravaganza that left everyone talking and craving more of that fabulous pink magic!

Barbie and Warner Bros. signed over a hundred brand deals. I am not going to talk about all of them but a few of my favourite campaigns are listed below. These collaborations reflect what Barbie would use in the real world.

Airbnb x Barbie

Architectural Digest took a tour of the breathtaking Barbie Dreamhouse, hosted by Margot Robbie herself. You can now book a stay in the ‘Barbie’ Dreamhouse in Malibu on Airbnb. Who wants to go?!

Zara x Barbie

To celebrate the launch of the movie, barbie, Zara created two immersive pop-in spaces in Paris (Zara Champs-Elysee 74 store) and in New York (Zara soho store) that will be up from July 17th to July 30th. The pop-in is a take on the ‘barbie dreamhouse’ bringing the universe from the new barbie film into the real world.

Impala Skate x Barbie

Beis x Barbie

Gap x Barbie

Crocs x Barbie

Uno x Barbie

Casetify x Barbie

Fossil x Barbie

ALDO x Barbie

NYX x Barbie

Cold Stone x Barbie

Will the Barbie craze last?

From a strategic launch to a captivating revival, Mattel has brilliantly breathed new life into the iconic Barbie brand.

Starting back in July 2022, they cleverly teased their audience with leaked images and behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, sparking curiosity and anticipation like never before. But that’s not all!

The Barbie team ingeniously tapped into the power of organic media, creating shareable content that resonated with their audience on a whole new level.

They harnessed the magic of User Generated Content, making fans and followers part of the brand’s journey.

Personally, as a marketer, I am enjoying every single second of the Barbie whirlwind! It’s a beauty to watch! This marketing strategy is truly captivating, I have never seen a movie campaign more impactful than this.

The shift in Barbie’s focus towards a broader audience, including adults, is a testament to how the entertainment industry is evolving to cater to diverse tastes.

It’s a powerful example of leveraging nostalgia and reinventing an iconic franchise for a new generation of fans. Beyond being a marketing success, this approach also highlights how brands can adapt to current trends and seize new opportunities.

Barbie-core is undoubtedly an intriguing case of how a brand can stay relevant in an ever-changing world. 

P.S. Type Barbie into Google (if you haven’t already!) to watch some magic unfold!

Meet Léa (pronounce Leah), a visual storyteller and fashion enthusiast who uses her skills to create captivating and engaging content for various mediums. With extensive knowledge and experience in the fashion industry, Léa provides valuable advice, opinion, and buyer guides to help readers make informed decisions and stay up-to-date with the latest fashion trends on Parlez Vous Vintage.

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