Is the Barbie movie an infomercial or entertainment?
The lines can blur between advertising and entertainment and none more visible than the recent
blockbuster Barbie movie, based on the popular Barbie franchise. The Barbie movie attracted
much attention and hype worldwide, with Instagram advertising, Tiktok advertising, Facebook
advertising, and other forms of advertising on social media. Because of the widespread
popularity of the movie, Mattel is also working with other companies in collaboration, such as
Burger King’s Barbie meal, Crocs’s Barbie products, Gap’s Barbie wardrobe, and other widely
known corporations in cooperation with the launch of the movie. In addition to selling dolls,
there is additional merchandise with the Barbie brand that can be sold thus extending the brand
beyond just movie tickets and into retail and online sales.
As a matter of fact, an article on The 1014 states, “The marketing efforts have been estimated to
cost $150 million, surpassing the film’s production budget.” From a marketing perspective, this
would definitely make the Barbie movie seem like a huge infomercial and a gateway to other
Mattel products. This move did in fact turn out well, as Mattel’s stock prices are “seeing a 20
Product placement in films and TV has been prevalent for decades. This is where companies pay
producers to hold that particular can of soda in a scene or use that particular luggage or beauty
product, but Barbie has taken this way beyond product placement and into a whole new echelon
of infomercial entertainment or infotainment.
Recent TV shows such as Ted Lasso and Yellowstone have manufactured merchandise to be sold
with the show themes. In fact in the Yellowstone series, actors from the series appeared in
commercials on set and in character pitching brands that align with the demographic of the
audience. Is Yellowstone then a giant infomercial as well?
Is this the beginning of a greater trend toward blending marketing and entertainment? The public
has embraced the movie with over 1 billion in box office sales, so that would indicate yes. So
now it is up to all of us in marketing and advertising to find new ways to blend advertising and