Barbie: is the promotion doing too much?

Barbie: is the promotion doing too much?

The world is tinged with pink, Margot Robbie is everywhere, the most unusual brands are partners in the Warner Bros blockbuster…

Less than fifteen days from the release of Barbie and D’Oppenheimerexpected as the biggest box office game of the summer, Warner Bros is pulling out all the stops to promote its Greta Gerwig blockbuster worn by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. Conversely, if Christopher Nolan was talkative a few weeks ago in the cinema press, the publicity of his biopic of the father of the Atomic Bomb is today limited to the traditional broadcasts of trailers and posters. . Of quality, certainly, but without seeking originality.

Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig have taken their ticket for Oppenheimer, Mission: Impossible 7 and Indiana Jones 5


The two projects are often compared for their scale: they are two productions of approximately 100 million dollars, directed by appreciated filmmakers, carried by very popular actors and supported by major studios… Barbie And Oppenheimer are also put in parallel for their differences: the first one also promises to be pink, girly and queer than the second appears dark, masculine and serious. Unless there’s a twist? The teaser of Barbie also promises feminist reflections or on life and death that we did not necessarily expect in a family blockbuster. As for Nolan’s film, followers of the works “high concepts”it is so surprising to see him tackle the true story of a scientist known to all that it is hard to believe that he will not bring an unexpected angle of reflection…

For the past few days, sites specializing in the box office have been announcing an American start of around 80 million dollars for Barbiecompared to about half for Oppenheimer, which is not surprising given that the first is stamped PG-13 (not recommended for children under 13 not accompanied by an adult) and the other R-Rated (prohibited for children under 17). Other reasons also explain this potential difference, and the promotion of the two films is one of the elements that will weigh ultimately in their box office. Hence this question: that of Barbie is she doing too much?

An Australian hotel has been completely redecorated in the colors of Barbie to organize the press day of the film.

Since the director of lady bird has been hired to shoot a film of the famous Mattel dolls, the hype kept climbing for this project. Before her, Amy Schumer had tried to make a film about Barbie, as had Anne Hathaway and Olivia Wilde (who ultimately designed Don’t Worry Darling like a sort of nightmare of Barbie’s perfect world in a way). She’s finally the queen of “coming of ages movies” who sticks to it, supported in the scenario by her spouse Noah Baumbach. After summer shoot photos that went around the web, the clever promotion really started at the end of last year, with a teaser evoking 2001, a Space Odyssey. An essential Stanley Kubrick film so far claimed as a source of inspiration for Nolan (especially for Interstellar), but who was far from being associated with Barbie in the collective unconscious.

Barbie – the movie: a Matrix with glitter?

Particularly well thought out, this short montage highlighting Barbie as THE dream doll of all little girls caused a sensation. Rebelote a few months later with another trailer, inspired by another cult SF film, this time: Matrix. An equally unexpected, but intriguing reference.

In the meantime, we have learned that there will be several incarnations of Barbie and Ken on screen, which will offer an exceptional diversity of roles by casting stars of all nationalities, origins, ages and genders. After the character posters explaining this concept, a series of posters presented Barbie as being “All”truly “THERE” doll in the heart of Barbieland, until the day she finds herself in the real world and discovers the quirks of a woman’s life. His partner played by Ryan Gosling, on the other hand, “it’s just Ken”. A double meaning which made the French-speaking public laugh, but which also promises deeper reflection on the relationship between one of the “couples” the most famous in history.

Barbie: the sexual allusion of the French poster does not go unnoticed

Why will Barbie be propelled into the real world? A few days before the release of the film, we do not yet know the details of the plot, and it is certainly one of the highlights of this promo! Despite numerous interviews with the team, in particular with Ryan Gosling, who teases an original Kenfar removed from the image that the public may have of it, or from the director, who explained how theBarbie looks or sets had also been thought out according to the story and that the whole would contribute to nourishing the reflections of the film, we ultimately know little concrete things about its content. How does Barbieland interact with the real world? What is the relationship between the heroine and Ken, exactly? What makes her such an exceptional female figure? The teasers ask more questions than they answer, which helps to make people want to see the film.

Another positive element: the promotion of Barbie went smoothly, with very committed actors, just like its technical team: from the creators of the costumes to the decorator through the supporting roles, everyone seems happy to talk about the movie, without forcing yourself. And without having to justify problematic behavior (unlike the recent promotion of The FlashFor example).
The few criticisms received by the team (such as Ryan Gosling’s allegedly too old age to play Ken) were brushed aside by arguing them intelligently, killing all “controversy” in the egg. Warner Bros also publicly justified a detail that prompted Asian countries to boycott the film: a demarcation line on a map that is at the heart ofa geo-political conflict between China and Vietnam!

Greta Gerwig and her actresses America Ferrera and Margot Robbie present Barbie -and its matching cakes!- in Seoul.

Still, on the home stretch, the partnerships are so numerous and the previews so publicized that Barbie is literally everywhere. Warner Bros had warned that the promotion would be exceptional, with rental of a dream villa, big previews in the presence of international teams, agreements made with brands to sell objects of all kinds stamped Barbie…

The studio didn’t lie. First there was a whole hotel in Sydney redecorated in the image of the doll, from the rooms to the swimming pool. Then Margot Robbie left her home country for the giant premiere held in Seoul, South Korea. In full-look doll and attitude modeled on her model, she appropriated her gestures, as well as her accessories: heart-shaped bag and sunglasses, stiletto heels, made-to-measure dresses… Margot Robbie IS Barbie. As for Gosling, he was also sent to his country of origin, THE “Kenada” to defend the “kenergy”.

While the photos of these events were going around the web, a thread on Twitter listed all the past deals between Warner and fashion, restaurant or new technology brands. These partnerships target all kinds of product lines, from the most affordable to the most luxurious, so much that we almost forget that Barbie was originally a doll, a toy intended for little girls! The list is gigantic, Warner obviously wanting to reach as many people as possible, not just children: there are console controllers, pool floats, clothes, sugary drinks, varnish, suitcases, rollerblades. ..

Mattel unveils Margot Robbie Barbie doll!

Barbie is itself a brand, and its merchandising is at the heart of its concept, Mattel’s goal being logically to sell as many dolls and derivative products as possible. She is obviously not the only heroine to be entitled to this kind of publicity, variations at Macdo or other world famous signs, but it is true that the device set up on this film is impressive.

When it hits the big screen, will audiences be already exhausted by this overdose of pink and glitter? Where will he be there to find out what, exactly, a film is Barbie ? We’ll talk about it in a few days…

For Ncuti Gatwa, “Barbie is already a cultural phenomenon, even though it hasn’t even been released yet”

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