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| 1 minute read

The Barbie film and the power of brands

Last night I went to watch what Time Magazine defined as “the most anticipated movie of the summer— if not the year.” and I have never seen so many people wearing pink! 

Unless you have been living under a rock, the hype around the live action Barbie movie has probably also made its way to you. The joyous film about Barbie's existential crisis was directed by the brilliant Greta Gerwig, who also co-wrote it with her (equally brilliant) husband, Noah Baumbach. 

It is estimated that the Barbie film made $155m (£120m) in its opening weekend, having won the box office battle with Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer in the US. 

The exceptionally effective marketing campaign orchestrated by Mattel saw the Barbie film soundtrack released on Spotify last week, which increased the hype around the film. The soundtrack was curated by Mark Ronson and includes a song by Dua Lipa (who stars in the film as a mermaid Barbie) and Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For?", which I have been listening to on repeat. 

It appears that the film has been released after a period of declining sales for Mattel and its BARBIE franchise. Well, it seems likely that Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, whose performances were more than Kenough, will help to raise Mattel's sales.

The BARBIE brand identifies one of the most recognisable products in the world, which has crossed generations and continents. With my trade mark attorney hat on, I can not help but think that the strength of the BARBIE brand was key for such great success.

If you are wondering whether Barbie is a satire of a toy company’s capitalist ambitions, a searing indictment of the current fraught state of gender relations, a heartwarming if occasionally clichéd tribute to girl power, or a musical spectacle filled with earworms from Nicki Minaj and Dua Lipa, the answer is yes. All of the above. And then some. It’s also the most anticipated movie of the summer—if not the year—which means a lot is riding on Barbie. Not just for Robbie and Gerwig, neither of whom has ever produced a movie on this scale, but also for Mattel. After a period of declining sales, a recently reinvigorated Barbie is ready for her big-screen debut.


brands & trade marks, copyright, creative industries