Barbie Movie Marketing and Promotions Delight Fast-Food Customers

Barbie Movie Marketing

Pinkberry and Burger King Debut Barbie-Themed Menu Items

The hottest chick in advertising may be a 64-year-old. What’s that again? Yes, the Barbie movie featuring the almost-Medicare-age-yet-still-shapely character and best beau Ken – is being used to pitch a bevy of products, among them frozen yogurt for the Pinkberry franchise, a combo meal for Burger King Brazil, insurance and even Airbnb.  

The timing aims to assure the Warner Bros. studio of a hit. National Public Radio points out that theaters haven’t been able to sell tickets at a pre-pandemic pace. As a result, Warner Bros. and toy maestro Mattel have teed up the doll characters to generate buzz in advance of the movie’s opening this Friday, July 21.   

NPR quoted Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore, a company that tracks box office totals, as saying the multi-promotional approach is “a test case in how to perfectly market a movie.” NPR counted around 100 brand collaborations, some of them with franchises.

Pinkberry’s Barbie Land Berry Pink

The Pinkberry frozen yogurt franchise is hawking its new limited-time flavor, Barbie Land Berry Pink, which is currently available in participating stores and will stay on Pinkberry menus until Aug. 11. Barbie Land Berry Pink is a tart frozen yogurt that blends the flavors of dragonfruit and strawberry in a swirl.

In a news release, Melissa Hubbell, vice president of marketing for Kahala Brands (Pinkberry’s parent company) said the franchise is “thrilled” to partner with Warner Bros. “for this playful and empowering movie. The brand is a natural fit for this epic summer movie. The perfectly pink hues of the Barbie Land Berry Pink frozen yogurt echo this iconic character’s fun yet bold personality.”

As part of the promotion, customers of the 18-year-old Pinkberry franchise can enter the Barbie The Movie Sweepstakes for a chance to win Barbie-related items, including movie tickets, Barbie-themed swag and Pinkberry gift cards through Aug. 11. Details are on the Pinkberry website. 

BK Barbie Combo

Barbie does her bit for the fast-food sandwich world at Burger King Brazil, which this week unveiled a Barbie-themed meal. The centerpiece of the BK Barbie Combo is a cheeseburger with bacon bits and a smoky-flavored bright-pink sauce, CNBC reported. But wait, there’s more: The combo also includes a vanilla milkshake tinted pink with strawberry Nesquik powder, and Burger King tops off the milkshake’s straw with a pink frosted donut.

Ken is not left out of the Brazilian BK combo. “Ken’s potatoes,” which are just regular fries, complete the meal deal. But Americans who want to try the combo, they’re out of luck, CNBC says – U.S. Burger Kings will not have the Barbie-Ken promotion.  

Insurance and Airbnb

A couple of the other high-profile Barbie promotions pitch Progressive homeowners insurance and Airbnb. 

Progressive’s Barbie-themed ad has been turning up frequently on television. In it, Progressive ad regulars Flo, Alan and Mara chat in front of an all-pink house as Jamie, another of the company’s pitchmen, reveals details about the company’s new “special, secret client” without naming her. 

Airbnb has listed Barbie’s Malibu Dream House, a real-life three-story California mansion painted hot pink, according to NPR. It’s loaded with amenities such as a pool with pink slide, a disco roller rink and an outdoor dance floor.

Barbie Movie Marketing and Promotions

Barbie also is being marketed in more traditional ways. For instance, Margot Robbie, the living doll who holds the movie’s title role, has been globe-trotting in typical Barbie attire to promote the film. 

NPR reported that an artificial intelligence Barbie selfie generator for creating memes is available online and that a Santa Monica, Calif., shopping mall lets fans check into an Instagram-friendly pop-up with a life-size Barbie camper van and music recording studio.

NPR speculated that if the Barbie movie is a big moneymaker, then Mattel’s Hot Wheels, Polly Pocket and Rock’Em’ Sock’ Em Robots could also be headed for Hollywood filmdom.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning writer who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. A seasoned journalist, Mary covers the latest franchising news in her role as staff writer for FranchiseWire.
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