Barbenheimer:  How Clever Marketing and Promotion Has Boosted These Polar Opposite Movies

Summer time is good for three things: vacations, warm weather, and blockbuster movies! We all love a good summer blockbuster, and this year we’ve definitely been spoiled with some great ones. With two of the highest anticipated movies of the year finally hitting the big screen, Barbie and Oppenheimer.

After more than a year of marketing, promotions, and online memes these two movies have finally hit the big screen. So let’s take a look at how two polar opposite movies managed to become the talk of the summer, and how one capitalized on the marketing success of the other.

Living in a Barbie World
You’d have to be living under a rock if you haven’t seen any of the Barbie movie’s promotional efforts. The Barbie marketing team has gone all out to promote this movie especially in these last few months their marketing efforts have gone into overdrive. Just in case you missed them here are a few of the many tactics deployed by the film’s team: a “DreamHouse” in Malibu on Airbnb, a Barbie-themed XBOX console giveaway, a Barbie x ALDO shoe collection, and even insurance companies are getting into the Barbie world with Progressive releasing a Barbie-themed ad. Or perhaps you’ve tried the AI Barbie selfie generator to see what you’d look like in the Barbie World!
The film’s marketing team has created the perfect media mix of traditional, digital, partnerships and experiential marketing to create high buzz for this movie. In all the Barbie pink craziness surrounds a dark dramatic film vastly different from fun bright Barbie, that is Oppenheimer.

Oppenheimer Countdown
Unlike Barbie, which leans heavily on its crazy promotional efforts, Oppenheimer’s marketing approach is quite low-key and places its emphasis on the star of the movie. No, not Cillian Murphy or his other A-List castmates, the main attraction is Christopher Nolan. Anytime Christopher Nolan announces a new film in the works it’s an incredibly big deal in the industry. Once a new film is announced film lovers already start counting down the days until its release, so why not create an actual countdown. This is exactly what Oppenheimer’s marketing team did when the teaser trailer was released last year. Much to the audience’s surprise the clock wasn’t counting down to the film’s release date but instead was counting down to the exact moment of the first explosion of an atomic bomb, on July 16, 1945, connecting it all back to what the film is about. Consider my mind blown.
Oppenheimer’s marketing efforts are a lot more ‘low-key’ and rely on the audience to go see the film simply because it’s a Christopher Nolan film. However, the brilliant thing about both films being released the same day is Oppenheimer is reaping the benefits of Barbie’s marketing efforts. The ‘Barbenheimer’ memes have been circulating for month’s comparing the two movies and how polar opposite they are. Even though the movies are drastically different, many moviegoers are heading into the theaters with a double feature in mind!

Final Thoughts
So which movie will be this summer’s blockbuster, Barbie or Oppenheimer? No matter which movie takes the title we can all agree that both marketing teams were successful. What these movies have shown us is you have to know the ins and outs of your product and audience. Barbie’s marketing tactics wouldn’t have worked with Oppenheimer and vice versa. Marketing isn’t one size fits all. Which is why you need a team of experts, like Miller Ad, who know the ins and outs of the industry and can create a marketing plan specifically tailored to your needs.