Successful event marketing: the Barbie case

Learn how Barbie expanded her success through a perfect event marketing strategy. Read the full story!


In the world of event marketing, there are stories that have the power to inspire and show how a well-planned strategy can turn an event into an unforgettable success. Today we want to tell you about the case of the Barbie movie launch, an event that captured the attention of audiences of all ages and achieved extraordinary results, thanks in part to a perfect event marketing strategy. You will discover how Mattel, the company behind Barbie, was able to create an engaging, exciting, and magical experience for Barbie fans around the world. 

What is event marketing?

Before we enter the world of Barbie though, there is a question you may be asking yourself: what is the difference between organizing an event and doing event marketing? The question is not unfounded, as at first glance the difference might seem subtle. In reality, however, it is substantial.

Doing event marketing requires all the skills needed to organize an event, combined with a deep understanding of your brand, your target audience and the goals you want to achieve with that event.

In summary, event marketing is a strategy that allows people to immerse themselves in the brand experience: every detail of the event will be designed to reinforce the audience's image and perception of that brand, in order to achieve business goals (be it the acquisition of new prospects, retention of their customers etc.) and create a media resonance that goes beyond the boundaries of direct attendees and spreads through social media shares.

Thus, in a single evening your brand can potentially reach new business goals and perhaps go viral on social media. Just like what happened to Barbie.

How Barbie used event marketing to launch the film

There are many reasons why the Barbie film is achieving the incredible results we have seen. The cast, the media coverage, the topicality of the themes addressed in the film. There is, however, one ingredient that has yet to be fully explored: theevent marketing that accompanied the film's launch. A carefully planned and executed strategy . Let's look at it together. 

From the Launch Party to the Blowout Disco: A tribute to the film's iconic locations

For the launch of the long-awaited film, the key objective was to provide animmersive and unforgettable experience for people, transporting them directly into the world of Barbie Land. The event was flawlessly managed by 15|40 Productions, which transformed Warner Brothers' vision into a living reality, creating an extraordinary journey inside Barbie Land. Every single detail was carefully designed to replicate the environment of the film, making the experience truly unique.

Photo: Line 8 Photography

During the Launch Party, attendees, who included influencers, celebrities, and PR professionals, had the opportunity to experience being part of Barbie's world. The carefully crafted sets and a spectacular pink pool as the focal point helped create a truly magical atmosphere.

Photo: Line 8 Photography

Gillian Deeds, senior producer at 15|40 Productions, explained the importance of attention to detail, such as the correct shade of pink, which was customized if necessary, and the accuracy in reproducing the details of the film, including the paint colors used in the set. His advice for other event planners is to"embrace the nuances and details so that people take home a memory, enjoying an experience that translates something nostalgic, like Barbie, into an environment that is tangible and full of life and pleasant visual surprises."

Photo: Line 8 Photography

The After Party was designed as a "Barbie's Blowout Disco Party," again a tribute to the iconic settings of the film. This second phase of the event gave attendees a chance to immerse themselves even more in the atmosphere of the film, and to create content for their socials within the settings recreated for the event. 

Photo: Line 8 Photography

Austin Johnston, CEO of AKJOHNSTON Group, explained that a particularly challenging aspect of producing this event was the confidentiality of the project. Given the scope of the film, only a few people on the team were able to preview the film. As a result, the design and production team had to rely on the direction of the Warner Bros. events team and team members who had had the opportunity to see the film, to flesh out the vision for the party.

Photo: Line 8 Photography

But the launch of the Barbie film did not only involve the organization of the launch events. There were also collaborations with brands that preceded and followed the film launch.


Living the Barbie experience with surprising collaborations

Take for example the event produced by Coffee 'n Clothes earlier this year. The agency partnered with Mattel and Forever 21 to launch their collaboration, organizing an event inspired by Barbie's Dream House. The event, which took place at a mansion in the Hollywood Hills, allowed people to immerse themselves in Barbie's world with a branded pool area, a Barbie-branded bus, a display area dedicated to the clothes line, beauty stations, and more.

Photo: Coffee 'n Clothes

Simply put, the launch of the Barbie movie was a masterpiece of event marketing. From the attention to detail in organizing the Launch Party and After Party, to the collaboration with brands such as Forever 21, every aspect was taken care of with the utmost rigor to deliver a memorable experience. This case study demonstrates how event marketing can be used effectively to engage audiences, create buzz , and generate interest around a product or service.


4 Event marketing lessons from the Barbie case. 

Barbie is a perfect example of how a well-planned event can create a lasting impact. But how can you replicate her success?

Define the goal

The first step in replicating Barbie's success is to figure out what the goal of the event is. In the case of Barbie, the goal was to create an immersive experience that would bring fans closer to the world of Barbie and strengthen the emotional bond between consumers and the brand. Everything in the event was geared toward this goal: from the setting, to the activities, to the collaborations with other brands.

Creating a memorable experience

A successful event is not just a place to talk about your product. It is an opportunity to create an experience that your customers will remember. In Barbie's case, the event was designed to make attendees feel as if they had stepped into Barbie's world. Every detail, from the decoration to the choice of activities, was designed to create an atmosphere that reflected theessence of the brand.

Collaborate with other brands

Collaborations can be a powerful tool to broaden your event audience and create a buzz around your brand. Barbie has collaborated with brands such as Forever 21, creating limited editions of products and unique experiences that have extended its reach and kept attention on the brand high.

Planning follow-up

An event does not end when the last guest leaves. It is important to have a plan to keep attention on your brand even after the event. In Barbie's case, the After Party and post-event collaborations helped keep the focus on the products and brand image, creating a lasting impact.

Practical tips for event marketers

Organizing successful events requires attention to detail, creativity and event marketing skills. Here are some practical tips to put into practice at your next event and get the results you want:

Understand your audience: Know your target audience and what they want. Try to understand their interests and expectations and use this information to guide your event planning.

Build a consistent brand experience: Every aspect of the event should reflect your brand and its values. From venue selection, to decoration, to interaction with attendees, every detail should be consistent with your brand image.

Leverage technology: Use technology to enhance the attendee experience and to reach a wider audience. You can use streaming platforms to broadcast the event live, apps to enhance interaction with attendees, and social media to create a buzz around the event.

Create an effective follow-up strategy: Plan in advance how you will keep attention on your brand after the event. This could include sending thank-you emails, posting content related to the event on social media, or organizing follow-up events.

Measure success: Define in advance what metrics you will use to measure the success of your event. This will help you understand what worked and what can be improved for the next event.

Create an event marketing strategy with Kampaay

Event marketing is a powerful tool that can help your brand create deep connections with your audience and build a strong reputation. The case of Barbie demonstrates how a well-planned and executed event can create lasting impact and contribute to a brand's overall success.

Remember, every brand has the opportunity to create successful corporate events that resonate with their audience. No matter how big or small your brand is, with the right planning and strategy, you can use event marketing to grow your business and leave a lasting impression.

Want to learn more about how to organize a successful event? Find out how the Kampaay platform can help you achieve your goals by simplifying every step oforganizing a corporate event and enhancing strategy and measuring results. 

About the author

Kampaay is the solution that facilitates the management and organization of corporate events, the ideal partner for those who want to bring innovation and digitization to their company.

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