Film buzz struggling to improve Barbie’s relevance: Tracksuit

As ‘Barbie week’ commences with the release of the year’s most anticipated film, which saw the brand paint the globe pink, new data reveals that only 49% of Aussies consider Barbie a relatable brand.

Brand tracking platform Tracksuit instead found consumers see Lego (75%) and Hot Wheels (66%) – two notable toy brands that also have presence in the movie world – more relatable.

Some 79% of Australians believe Barbie is a unique brand, and more than half (52%) say it is a brand they love.

Head of marketing at Tracksuit, Mikayla Hopkins, said: “In their ongoing pursuit of transformation, the Barbie brand has taken many steps to reshape consumer perceptions. From the introduction of dolls of differing abilities, ethnicities and age to the highly anticipated launch of the Barbie movie, it’s clear the brand is working hard.

“However, after many years of controversy, mixed opinion and issues around inclusion, shifting the dial on brand image and legacy is not an easy task,” said Hopkins.

She questions if the new movie will be a turning point for the brand and its reliability.

“Our data shows that Barbie still sits quite low in terms of brand relatability, ranking lower than competitors such as Lego and HotWheels who also have a stake in the movie industry.”

Mikayla Hopkins

Barbie’s brand awareness is stronger with females (88%) and older generations according to Tracksuit, likely due to it being a legacy brand. There is 72% brand awareness in 18-34 year olds, 76% for 35-54, and 91% for 55+.  67% of men have awareness of the brand.

“Touted to be one of Barbie’s biggest reinventions, the movie is expected to break long standing barriers for the brand,” Hopkins added.

“Only time will tell if it will be a success. We haven’t even reached the premiere yet and it feels like Barbie, Margot mania and the colour pink is all anyone can talk about.

“If the film lives up to the hype, when consumers think of Barbie they’ll see an appealing 21st century brand that embodies the value of inclusivity, diversity and empowerment,” she concluded.


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