Use Barbie’s Publicity Secrets To Build Your Buzz

SUMMARY: Barbie’s recent phenomenal success as a movie and for companies and brands capitalizing on spin off services and products offers valuable publicity lessons for entrepreneurs. By meeting unmet needs, staying timely, and building brand partnerships, Barbie maintains her relevance and generates buzz. Entrepreneurs can emulate Barbie’s adaptability and collaborate across industries to amplify their message and reach new audiences.

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Use Barbie’s Publicity Secrets To Build Your Buzz

You might have heard that Barbie is made a big screen debut two weeks ago.

Out just three weeks, the film has reached (and is set to surpass) $1 billion in global ticket sales breaking a record for female directors previously held by Patty Jenkins, who helmed Wonder Woman.

I know, it’s quite an interesting development given the doll has been around for 64 years, has sold over 1 billion dolls worldwide and is still as popular as ever.

And it got me thinking about how her success story can offer some valuable lessons for founders, entrepreneurs, experts and authors, looking to gain publicity.

Let’s take a closer look at what we can learn from Barbie’s journey:

1) Barbie Gets Publicity Through Meeting Unmet or Unknown Needs.

Barbie’s co-founder of Mattel Toys, Ruth Handler, noticed that her daughters preferred playing with adult-like paper dolls rather than baby dolls.

She theorized it was because they wanted to imagine themselves doing all kinds of things beyond just being moms.

[Though motherhood is still THE most important job on the planet – these girls envisioned an expanded version of their lives].

So Ruth came up with a grown-up version of a dress-up doll so her daughters could see themselves in lots of other roles in life.

What if your business, book, product, service or cause could meet a need people might not even know they had?

The media is ALWAYS looking for the next new, new thing that resonates with their audiences.

Show them how your offer could be their next “it” and imagine welcoming the words “sold out.”

2) Barbie Keeps the Publicity Spotlight by Staying Timely and Relevant.

Barbie, has managed to stay relevant throughout the years by constantly reinventing herself to keep up with the time and trends.

With over 200 careers, she’s been portrayed as a robotics engineer, beekeeper, firefighter, zoologist, surgeon, CEO, and so much more – giving girls an expanded view of what they can become.

Her adaptability allowed her to stay part of ever changing cultural conversations.

Mattel paid attention to cultural sensitivities by consistently reinventing Barbie’s looks and abilities.

Barbie currently capitalizes on the trend of Diversity and Inclusion, manufactured in different skin tones, body types, hairstyles and physical abilities to promote inclusivity and body positivity. 

Barbie Movie

While you don’t have to change your content or career based on trends, you can make adjustments to show why your work matters now and create timely tie-ins, or “hooks,” which can help seize the media attention of the moment and make your message stand out.

3) Barbie Gets Publicity by Building Partnerships.

It’s incredible how much buzz the Barbie movie is generating through various partnerships with Haute Couture to fast food and fashion brands plus cosmetics companies, book publishers and Airbnb.

There’s even a plentitude of Barbie bling and a limited-edition hoodie retailing for $1,350!

Barbie Publicity

The brands hopping on the Barbie bandwagon know that collaborations with Mattel are a means to tap into a major cultural phenomenon surrounding the summer’s biggest film.

While you may not be a major movie mogul or huge toy company, working with others in diverse industries in both predictable and unlikely markets can still help spread your message fast.

Consider forming partnerships to widen the word about your work and reach a broader audience.

Consider counterintuitive opportunities like Barbenheimer. The movie double feature of the odd pairing of Oppenheimer and Barbie opening together.

According to AMC Theatres already 40,000 eager moviegoers have purchased tickets to see the film last weekend.

The one thing I know is that many people don’t think that they are “ready” for publicity. This is a self-perpetuating myth that I intend to stop.

Barbie famously said, “Magic happens when you believe in yourself.” [Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale, 2010].

It’s time to showcase who you are, what you do and why it matters—and nothing can help you do that quite like publicity.

So let’s make sure you’re equipped with the right tools, words and wisdom to get your message out there to create your own magic in the media.

Join me for my FREE Q&A about how to get major media coverage using other people’s media assets. [Ask me anything!]

Register free here:

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Disclosure: Some of the above may be affiliate links that I will be compensated for at no cost to you. They are products or services I’ve either used, vetted or trust. Enjoy!



Hi, I'm Susan

I’m a media coach, martial artist + marketing strategist who helps you communicate your values, mission + message during media interviews to multiply your revenue while building your brand + business. I believe that you don’t need to brag, beg or whore yourself to get the publicity you want. Nor do you need to be an axe murderer, a shamed sports star, or be involved in a sex scandal. There is another way…

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