The focus today consists of the biggest marketing news of the past several weeks, since July 21st, when Barbie appeared in movie theaters, and since July 24th, when Twitter unveiled its new name, the letter "X."
Here's a little history first...Mattel’s Barbie has become one of the world’s most popular dolls. Introduced in 1959, the Barbie doll owes its success to adapting to the ever-changing markets of various cultures and countries by launching Barbie dolls of shapes, colors, and sizes, and customizations to the inhabitants of certain regions. Because Barbie has often been criticized for representing an unattainable beauty ideal for girls and women, the doll has evolved both in style and shape over the years. The Barbie brand also honors pioneering women from throughout history.
People descended on theaters to watch the Barbie movie directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie. Here are some of the movie's stand-out moments:
Barbie is crying on a bench in the real world and turns to the elderly woman (Ann Roth) sitting next to her and tells her, "You're so beautiful," and the woman replies, "I know." Director Greta Gerwig was adamant to keep this scene in the film even though others were advising her to cut the scene out. Greta believed it is the true heart of the movie and that Margot plays that moment gently and unforced. The scene has now been one of the most talked about moments.
Gloria's (America Ferrera) moving monologue is one of the film's most powerful quotes. Gloria describes the immense expectations and the unfair standards that females are subjected to in order to be viewed as desirable and liked by others. During the scene, Barbie has an emotional moment confessing how she feels she is not good enough for anything. Gloria tells Barbie how she is so beautiful, and it kills Gloria that Barbie doesn't think she is good enough. Gloria continues by saying, "I'm just so tired of watching myself, and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us."
As the movie comes to an end, Barbie no longer feels like just a doll and begins to wonder whether there’s anything left for her in the home that she’s known. Ruth Handler (Rhea Perlman) passes on some words of wisdom to Barbie while describing the relationship between mothers and daughters. Ruth tells Barbie that “ideas live forever, humans not so much.” Barbie, still assumes that she needs her creator, Ruth’s, permission to become human. Ruth tells Barbie, “You don’t need my permission. I can’t control you any more than I could control my own daughter. I named you after her: Barbara. And I always hoped for you like I hoped for her. We mothers stand still, so our daughters can look back to see how far they have come.”
In addition, another film appeared in theaters the same day, Oppenheimer, and many theater-goers watched both, creating a new term celebrating the twin release of both movies shattering box office records for opening weekend sales, "Barbenheimer." When was the last time that a movie got a different name by competing against other movies? Not in recent memory. Score one for brand marketing. According to Reid Goldberg at Collider, "The Barbenheimer phenomenon has become a global sensation and proven that cross-promotion can benefit competing blockbusters." And also stimulate the economy.
And do you consider Twitter as your social water cooler? Do you go to Twitter first when news breaks or to see what people are saying during big events, such as, the Super Bowl or presidential primaries? Well, the brand continues to evolve under the ownership of Elon Musk, and the latest transformation is the name. Users can no longer tweet, but post instead. How can the name change be effective as a single letter? Will this Twitter/X become a timeless branding case study for marketing students like "Intel Inside?" Time will tell if this latest change helps or hinders the social platform.
What will the marketing buzz be next week? Tune in for a recap.
Image Credit: Barbie Movie/Mattel and Twitter/X.
To read about Barbie's Inspiring Women Series, check out this post:
Barbie Inspires Today on National Doll Day on June 10, 2023