The “Barbie” movie has taken over the world.
The accomplishment even has its own nickname, Barbillion, which has been adopted by “Barbie” studio executives.
“As distribution chiefs, we’re not often rendered speechless by a film’s performance, but Barbillion has blown even our most optimistic predictions out of the water,” Warner Bros. distributors Andrew Cripps and Jeff Goldstein told ABC Australia.
One person who believed in Barbie’s potential from the get-go? Margot Robbie. The movie’s star — and one of its producers — told Collider she believed Barbie could make a billion dollars when she pitched the idea.
Robbie’s belief in “Barbie” director and writer Greta Gerwig proved prophetic, and now Gerwig is the first solo female director to hit the billion-dollar milestone.
How did we get to this level of “Barbie” mania, though?
Barbie has been a perennial top-selling toy since she debuted in 1959. But these days, Barbie and her signature pink color are everywhere, and the movie’s popularity shows no sign of slowing down.
The bottom line for the movie’s booming success? A masterful promotional campaign.
Warner Bros. executives decided to play a long game with their marketing leading up to the film’s release. Well-timed promotional photos and teaser video clips were dropped onto social media during production to give audiences a glimpse of what was headed to the big screen.
— Warner Bros. Pictures (@wbpictures) June 15, 2022
The official media previews from the movie got people talking about the movie, fashion and Barbie-related products. Barbiecore became the new trend a full year before the film’s release.
“In every campaign, there are elements of earned media [like social media buzz] and paid media [such as a trailer spot],” Warner Bros. president Josh Goldstein told Variety. “We believed this brand had the opportunity to generate some exciting earned media. Some of the choices we made stimulated that. Then it did totally take on a life of its own.”
Product partnerships also pushed the “Barbie” brand to new heights. Everything from nail polish, a one-of-a-kind Xbox console, clothing, and even an Airbnb boasted the Barbie name. Goldstein said companies clamored to team up with the movie instead of vice versa.
“I’ve been doing this for 35 years. This is one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had,” he told Variety.
Have you seen “Barbie” yet? What did you think?