Barbie, a doll owned by multinational toy manufacturing and entertainment company Mattel, has been a globally beloved cultural icon since her inception in 1959.

So it’s no wonder that an upcoming film about the toy has attracted partnerships with a host of brands, leading to the term ‘Barbiecore’ to describe the aesthetic surrounding the doll – which, of course, is based around the colour pink.

However, the sheer volume of collaborations announced in the lead-up to the film’s premiere showcases an impressive marketing machine at work that has been able to transcend various industries.

Barbiecore fashion

Given that the traditional activity of playing with a doll is based around dressing them up, Barbie fashion collaborations are an obvious win for clothing brands.

On TikTok, #barbieoutfits currently has 75m views, which includes videos made by creators featuring products from brand collaborations.

Partnerships have been announced with fashion retailers such as Forever 21 and Pretty Little Thing and high fashion brands such as luxury couture retailer Balmain.

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Primark has also added Barbie to its long list of brand collaborations, with GlobalData’s retail intelligence citing the partnership as a factor in the retailer’s recent sales rise.

Barbiecore marketing expansion

While fashion collaborations are to be expected, other retailers have jumped at the chance to associate with the pink wave with more unexpected products.

Independent brand Proper Snacks have released a Barbie-themed popcorn product that has been launched in supermarket chains Tesco, Asda, Aldi and online retailers Amazon and Ocado.

If consumers want to bring Barbie into their own homes, they can look to French online retailer La Redoute. The pink products on offer include garden furniture, bedding, curtains and electronic products.

But perhaps the most viral collaboration launched for the movie has been with Airbnb, who unveiled a real Barbie Dreamhouse in Malibu. The pink oceanfront mansion opens for booking in late July and showcases the marketing opportunities that are open to real estate companies looking to diversify their advertising strategies.

The benefits for Mattel

Mattel’s revenue is currently more than $5bn and this is set to rise over the rest of 2023, thanks in no small part to the publicity garnered from the Barbiecore marketing.

This is also allowing the company to expand its operations, as it announced its plans to launch a publishing division in March and is currently constructing a toy manufacturing plant in Monterrey, Mexico, as part of a $49mn project.

Overall, the Barbie film has instigated a marketing powerhouse that has aided companies in a wide variety of industries to undertake creative marketing campaigns, with Mattel at the helm of it all.