Unless you have been living under a rock, you have noticed billboards plastered in hot pink, Instagram stories filled with witty threads, and fans covered in Taylor Swift merchandise.
Creators and business owners alike can appreciate the marketing campaigns taking the marketing world by store in 2023. Beyond appreciation, it is important to ask what we can learn from the tactics of the marketing teams of Barbie, Instagram Threads, Taylor Swift, and Burger King.
In our fast-paced world of technology, marketers have their work cut out for them, trying to come up with fresh ideas to captivate the masses. Let’s look at five successful marketing campaigns happening right before our eyes to give you a little inspiration for your next marketing endeavors.
Table of Contents
- Mattel’s Live-Action Barbie
- Instagram Threads
- Burger King Film Collabs
- Taylor Swift’s Return
- Wendy’s Facebook
Mattel’s Live-Action Barbie
Photos: Getty Images
Feel like you’re seeing pink everywhere? You’re not just imagining it, PINK is everywhere. In preparation for the new Barbie movie, Mattel is not just selling a film; they’re selling the Barbie lifestyle (*cough cough lifestyle branding at its finest!).
They want us all to join the Barbie world with themed parties, merchandise, and every shade of pink imaginable. Since the first teaser trailer was released in December of 2022, we see Barbie in every direction, social media, billboards, fashion, and influencers. These marketing tactics have been in the works for years.
Mattel has spent the last years crafting the live-action Barbie movie, recruiting hit actors and musicians, setting up strategic brand deals, and devising different methods to build the fan base. The Barbie team has setup pink billboards worldwide, created a Barbie dreamhouse for rent in Malibu, and garnered user-generated content with their personalized social media Barbie posters.
When setting out to create this movie, the director, Greta Gerwig, and the team wanted to capture the nostalgic essence of Barbie while appealing to all age groups and demographics in a way Barbie hasn’t done before. With this new approach, they have successfully capitalized on all the fun aspects of Barbie and made the brand trendy.
Mattel has also strategically put lead actors Margot Robbie, “Barbie,” and Ryan Gosling, “Ken,” in the spotlight with Q+A sessions, fan visits, and premieres around the globe. Margot Robbie has been attending said premieres in outfits modeled after real Barbie dolls.
Are you feeling inspired yet? Mattel has certainly outdone themselves with the Barbie marketing campaign. They have sold a lifestyle and aesthetic – one that many groups can rally around. They brought key actors on board and found ways for them to directly engage with fans. And they have inspired millions to bring Barbie right into their homes with themed outfits, parties, and merchandise. These tactics are not relevant to every single brand, but when it comes to Barbie, the team at Mattel certainly knows what they are doing.
Meta took the social media world by surprise when they launched their new conversational app, Threads, on July 5th, 2023, with no prior warning. The first mention of Threads was made on the 5th by Zuckerberg and Meta.
Relying on the popularity of their social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram, it seems Meta took a “hard launch” approach with their newest platform. As Threads easily connects to Instagram, Zuckerberg and his team used the element of surprise and their already robust standing to gain a strong start for Threads.
The NYTimes shares, “Within hours of the app’s introduction last Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg said 10 million people had signed up for Threads. By Monday, that had soared to 100 million people. It was the first app to do so in that time frame, exceeding the chatbot ChatGPT.”
Threads has been dubbed the “Twitter killer” by many as it is built for witty conversations and idea sharing. Users can sign up for Threads using their Instagram account and easily transfer their followers, giving it an automatic advantage to use Twitter again.
We are still in the early days of Threads, but so far, Meta’s marketing tactics appear to be paying off. It remains to be seen if this success will continue, but for the correct brand, word-of-mouth, and strategic surprise can be just as powerful as a thorough, months-long campaign.
Burger King Film Collabs
Photos: https://www.brandeating.com/2023/05/burger-king-offers-weekly-spider-verse-deals-through-june-11-2023.html, Facebook
With the release of the new Spider-Verse movie in June 2023, Burger King and the Spider-verse team partnered to create two Spiderman-themed menu items and a range of deals at Burger King through parts of May and June.
In May, Burger King launched the “Spider-Verse Whopper” or “Red Whopper,” a burger made to resemble the action hero, and the Spider-Verse Sundae, decorated accordingly. Burger King launched different deals for each day of the week extending through June 11th, 2023. For example, they offered a $5 Spider-Verse Whopper on Mondays and a $10 Webslinger meal on Tuesdays. For a detailed look at the weekly deals, read this article.
With the Barbie film release coming up, the public is getting used to seeing pink everywhere, but most fans were surprised to hear of the Barbie burger. Just recently, Burger King revealed a second film collaboration, celebrating the new Barbie film with the “Pink Burger” and a Barbie milkshake.
Although simple, these collaborations provide a fun and simple way for Burger King to profit while promoting the new Spider-Verse and Barbie movies. This is a reminder that your marketing strategies do not have to be complicated or over-the-top. Have a little fun with your marketing tactics and witness how little steps can lead to big results.
Taylor Swift’s Return
Photos: Getty Images
After nearly a 5-year break from tours and concerts, Taylor Swift is back and larger than life. She has captivated not just the country but the world with her newest album, Midnights, and the Era’s Tour.
Anticipation was high as fans awaited Swift’s tenth album Midnights to be released at midnight on October 21st, 2022. The release did not disappoint as the album soared through multiple records.
Before the release date was over, Midnights became Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day (read more here). Entertainment Weekly shares, “With Midnights, Swift became the first artist in history to claim all top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 in a single frame.” Swift’s Midnights also “earned over 1.14 million US pure album sales in one week,” as shared by Entertainment Weekly. The last album to do so was Swift’s very own, Reputation.
Swift and her team dropped small hints leading up to the release to build anticipation and strategically released the album at midnight in keeping with the theme. This same creativity has been reflected in Swift’s Eras Tour, spanning from March to August of 2023.
Her tour has consistently filled out stadiums three nights a week at each location. When the tickets first dropped, Ticketmaster crashed due to high online traffic. Swift has gone above and beyond to make this concert a full experience for her fans through impressive sets, costume changes, and strategic song choices.
This tour is meant to feature each of Taylor’s “eras.” Fans have been seen in different era costumes, hosting themed parties, and more. It was a battle to buy merchandise at each concert.
Some of Swift’s tactics are specific to her industry, but there is so much for every creative or marketing specialist to learn from her strategies. Small details go a long way, such as her symbolic timing for Midnights’ release or her strategic concert outfits. She also used the time to her advantage to build anticipation for her album and tour, providing fans with small hints along the way.
A smaller strategy, perhaps, but just as impactful, is the current content shared by Wendy’s Facebook page. Maybe you have heard rumors that their social media is hacked, but these posts are legit.
Wendy’s recent posts have been so hilarious and outlandish that people questioned their authenticity, yet it seems that Wendy’s content creators have changed their strategy altogether. They have successfully attracted mounds of attention through far-fetched yet hilarious posts. It seems they are balancing humor and shock in a way that is making them go viral.
This can surely inspire marketers and content creators to get a “little weird and quirky” but it comes with a word of caution too. Shock and humor can be effective for the right brand, but it is challengingto successfully execute humor as a core strategy.
Too often, humorous content comes off as cringy or unimpactful. If you intend to use humor or shock as your strategy, ensure it suits your brand and that you have a strong plan. For many, humor is the best way to break up your normal content.
Did you find some fresh inspiration in these current marketing campaigns? We hope so! There is so much to dig out of each strategy, and we have only provided a glimpse. But take what lessons you can from these successful campaigns and find ways to refresh or enhance your strategy.
Need some more help? Reach out to Freebird today for assistance with your branding and marketing tactics.