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The PR power of Barbie: how searches for brands featured in the film Increased by 36,000%+

Recently, the BBC reported that Mattel's toy sales increased by 9% last quarter thanks to the Barbie Film and a new study by UK-based PR agency, Lem-uhn reveals searches for brands featured in the Barbie film shot up 36,000%.

With 940.7 million views on Tiktok, ‘Barbiecore’ has become a cultural phenomenon, spanning its way into every area of life, from fashion to home decor and even stationery.

Brand benefits

By analysing keyword growth across the Barbie film’s launch in July 2023, compared to the same period last year, the study identified that the luxury fashion brand Chanel is taking the market share of searches with an impressive 851% increase since the film premiered. The drive in consumer demand is a clear indication of the power of public relations.

The studio and toy company have partnered up with an eye-watering number of brands. From clothing to haircare, cars and even Burger King created their ‘pink burger’ in collaboration, but which brands that were featured in the film are now seeing the biggest surge in popularity based on global search volumes?

Fashion forward

Looking at three key fashion brands featured in the film, Chanel takes the market share. The film features a mixture of new and archived products from the fashion house, including a heart-shaped pendant from the brand's legendary spring/summer 1995 runway show.

‘Chanel Barbie Dress’ is the highest-ranking term with 190% increase in July alone. However, when looking at the largest annual increases, the ‘Chanel Barbie Bag’ scores highest with a staggering 36,000 search increases since the same period last year.

Other standout brands within the fashion space are Birkenstock, with a 684% increase and more surprisingly, Calvin Klein with a 484% increase since last year - impressive considering Calvin Klein’s iconic logo didn’t even feature on Ken’s boxers, but instead was replaced with ‘Ken’.

Looking at more generic search trends that can be attributed to the film, ‘Barbie Gingham Dress’ has shot up 5,448% and ‘Fluffy Barbie Heels’ has increased by 1,872% since August last year.

The biggest fashion-related Barbie searches globally

Count

Term

July increase

12-month increase

1

Chanel Barbie Dress

190%

5,217%

2

Chanel Barbie Bag

186%

36,900%

3

Chanel Barbie Doll

177%

1,025%

4

Chanel Barbie Sunglasses

152%

3,253%

5

Barbie Gingham Dress

148%

5,448%

6

Chanel Barbie necklace

146%

728%

7

Fluffy Barbie Heels

141%

1,872%

8

Birkenstock Barbie

138%

684%

9

Pastel co-ords

122%

850%

10

Calvin Klein Ken Boxers

127%

484%

The power of PR

The Barbie movie was a playbook for marketers. Leading up to the film, the film’s marketing team threw out all the stops to ensure we all knew when the film was coming out and lined up to see it as soon as it hit the big screen. It’s been reported that Barbie spent more on its marketing than the production, a whopping $150 million. The brand partnerships in the film would have helped to create this budget. It’s clear that the PR partnerships in the film have led to a significant increase in demand for the brands, and hence sales. Barbie would be nowhere without its impactful marketing and PR.

Methodology

Search data was gathered using Keyword Tool to examine the top-ranking keywords from products featured in the Barbie Film. Growth was tracked over the last 12 months versus growth in July 2023, when the Barbie film launched. Further research on the leading brands in the cosmetic and luxury car industry can be found here.

Written by Riannon Palmer, founder and managing director of Lem-uhn

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