Pink power: Barbie’s marketing masterclass led by trademark strategy

thrings intellectual property lawyers

Barbie has always been one for breaking new ground - notably in demonstrating to new generations of girls that no career is off limits – but it is the outstanding pink-powered marketing campaign for the new live-action film that has shown a brand can dominate with the right strategy and protection from the outset.

For anyone that has somehow managed to avoid the hype train that has been the new blockbuster starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling has begun an unstoppable march towards the seeming inevitability of becoming the latest film to gross more than $1billion at the global box office – securing more than $775million in its first 10 days.

Powered by a reported $100million budget for marketing alone, the well-known Barbie brand has gone into hyperdrive to capitalise on the widespread social media comparison between the film and its same-day release rival Oppenheimer – showering everything it touches in the trademark pink that accompanies the doll.

With one of the most instantly recognisable brands in the world for more than six decades, the marketing has not just targeted young kids and their families, the more traditional audience for the dolls, but it seems people from all demographics have been caught up in the hype of seeing the film and this has reflected in the products being linked to it.

In the run up to the film’s release, Barbie owners Mattel have sought protection for the brand on a wide range of products and services well beyond the past remit of dolls, games and other toys, with hotels, restaurants, cafes, glassware, cosmetics, jewellery, photo albums, sleeping bags, clothes and television entertainment services all now under the trademark umbrella.

Having this brand behind them has enabled Mattel to agree licence agreements with a wide variety of manufacturers and retailers spawning the seemingly never-ending plethora of Barbie merchandise. The frenzy is, in part, an effort to help recoup the reported loss in profits from sales of the dolls in recent years, with other Mattel IP such as Barney the Dinosaur, Polly Pocket and even the UNO card game and the Magic 8-Ball.

The verdict is out on whether pink barbie Burger King sauce is something we need in our lives or whether a limited edition Barbie Fossil watch will make it onto the Christmas list but love it or hate it, there’s no doubt Mattel’s approach to widening its trademark rights and throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks has helped it cash in on the meteoric rise in Barbiemania.

Thrings’ Intellectual Property lawyers are experienced in safeguarding brands and trademarks from infringement and has successfully advised multinational organisations on a range of matters from IP disputes, including copyright infringement, and trademark registration to managing diverse portfolios and worldwide expansions. To find out how they can help protect your IP rights, get in touch.

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