Barbie PR masterclass

real world this way sign from barbie movie



Welcome to Barbie’s masterclass in PR! The iconic doll has been a symbol of fashion, empowerment, and inspiration for generations. Despite significant changes, Barbie continues to make headlines. The fascination surrounding the Barbie film and the pre-promotion that has gone into it has captivated consumers and taken Barbie to unprecedented heights. So how have Barbie done it and why are we all so obsessed? 

Come on Barbie, what’s your story… 

Dream stunts 

While Barbie is away, her iconic Malibu Dreamhouse has been listed on Airbnb and it’s the most outrageously fabulous stunt we’ve seen. This PR stunt ticks all the boxes. It’s attention-grabbing, on a global scale, who doesn’t want to win a free stay at one of the most expensive mansions in the world? It’s share-worthy -everyone in our office knew about it in the first hour. It sparks conversation, whether you’re for Barbie-land or not and most importantly, it has consistent brand messaging and tone of voice. The images shared on Airbnb were the dollhouse model, rather than real-life images, and it was listed as ‘because Ken couldn’t figure out how to put a price on Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse,’ playing on Ken’s personality.  

sean portrait

About the author

Sean Stanfield | PR Operations Director

Sean is the perfect example of why one should always blend work and pleasure. A lover of endurance sports, Sean has moulded his love of all-things running and cycling with his natural talent for PR. He works with some of the country’s biggest sports brands to deliver dynamic campaigns and press office function, all whilst directing the agency’s internal PR Operations.
After spending four years working across some of the biggest cycling brands, Sean joined Brandnation and quickly rose through the ranks. A trained television journalist and multi-marathon runner, Sean has also cycled the length of Great Britain from John O’Groats to Lands End.

barbie dollhouse recreated in real life

Barbie engages with her audience 

Barbie gave fans a tour of her home and the movie set, in a video for Architectural Digest, which made the internet go wild. Fans on Twitter commented “Watching the Architectural Digest tour of the Barbie Dreamhouse isn’t enough. I need to live there” and they couldn’t believe the dedication from Barbie, “I just love that they built an actual set and didn’t just rely on CGI. The dreamhouse came straight out of a fairytale book. It really is something Barbie would want to live in.” Barbie has always interacted with her audience, and it’s been cleverly executed through a multichannel approach, whether that’s social media, events, or collaborations. PR involves building relationships and engaging with your target audience. Barbie does this so well; consumers feel a connection and fans feel Barbie is responsive to their needs. 

Viral worthy content 

It usually starts with a simple unique idea that evokes an emotion, whether that be humour, happiness, awe, anger, compassion, or inspiration. Barbie being Barbie, went down the light-hearted humorous route, ‘renaming’ London’s Barbican tube station to Barbie-can. The marketing team for the movie certainly pulled the pink-coloured wool over our eyes, with many, including us, believing the rename! Timing is key and the team nailed it with the photo going viral ahead of the London Premier!


Star power 

Just like brand ambassadors, celebrity endorsements tend to humanise and bring personality to the brand. Choosing the right individual that will connect with your target audience is crucial. Let’s talk Barbie, Margot Robbie’s physical beauty certainly fits the bill but why Margot over all of the other Oscar nominees? Firstly, Margot’s versatility and adaptability make her golden. Margot has demonstrated her ability to take on diverse roles, making her suitable for depicting the many facets of Barbie’s character in 2023. Barbie can be whoever she wants to be, Barbie is a doctor, a lawyer, and so much more than that. Secondly, Margot’s positive public image enhances Barbie’s brand image and appeals to long-time fans as well as a new generation of audiences. Thirdly, with her authentic personality, Margot is loved for being down to earth, just like Barbie. Did you know she even used to be a fan of the famous Clapham Infernos?  

Barbie meet Barbie – Barbie embraces diversity & inclusivity 

Despite being a beloved figure, Barbie has faced her share of controversies over time. Barbie’s evolution has embraced diversity and inclusivity and the Barbie film is purpose-driven. The Greta Gerwig-directed film promises to challenge the brand’s legacy, championing all women as Barbies in their own right. Barbie has evolved with the times, over the years she has taken on different careers and adapted to societal changes. Being adaptable and proactive to change, trends and shifts in public sentiment are key to staying relevant. 

It’s no surprise that according to internal Pinterest data, “Barbiecore” and “Barbie mood board” searches are up 980% this year. We’ve loved seeing the headlines, the fact that the Barbie film ‘required so much pink paint it contributed to worldwide shortage” tickled me and we’re most certainly guilty of upping the pink outfits in the office! What’s been your favourite Barbiecore moment?  

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