Exploring Beast-Mode Marketing: Barbie vs. Oppenheimer 

Exploring Beast-Mode Marketing Barbie vs. Oppenheimer (1)

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  • Matthew
  • July 12, 2023

This year’s July 21st is packed with the most anticipated movies, and two have been battling it out eye-to-eye: Barbie and Oppenheimer. What the typical eye sees are two hit movies backed by colossal entertainment companies and studios. But staffing firms should look at their marketing prowess.

The Barbenheimer hype has opened the traditional summer blockbuster matchups where two plots are positioned against one another. For some, it brought memories back like Robocop vs. Jaws: The Revenge on July 17th, 1987, or The Proposal vs. Transformers vs. Year One in the third quarter of 2009.

In this article, we’ll read between the lines and surf behind the scenes for both movies and motives. Let’s have an in-depth view of how we can positively imitate these marketing strategies for our own industry.

~Did they spark a marketing milestone or is this another “go-with-the-flow?”

How the Barbenheimer Hype Came to Be  

Today, social media has been the bearer of all news. From the latest trend about your favorite celebrity to the updated health rules and regulations, you can count on it.

It’s also not a stranger to the built-up hype that the two movies established. Since Warner Bros. announcement of Greta Gerwig’s magical Barbie masterpiece back in April 2022–six months after Oppenheimer’s release date announcement, film fans didn’t hesitate to spew memes and remarks, especially about the fact that they’ll be released on the same date.

What fans even found more alluring is the juxtaposition of the two, making it an interesting point of debate, especially in filmmaking.


Decoding the Barbie vs. Oppenheimer Hype  

It’s no wonder how fans grew amazed with the hype. Both filmmakers have their own pillars in the industry, one being known for the conceptual and unconventional narratives and the other for her rather nitpicky selection of lines and protagonists. The contrast makes it interesting and exciting!

But how could two films exaggerate the world of film in the sense that people willingly divided themselves? Let’s take a closer look.


Filmmaker Background and Notoriety

The hype’s primary source would be the two directors’ background. Gerwig’s reputation of intricate storytelling with a unique vision is the exact opposite of Christopher Nolan’s unconventional and visually striking products.

Have you ever seen two gasoline stations close or even next to one another? Besides business tactics, it’s a good marketing strategy to position yourself on something that’s already effective, right? This gives consumers the freedom of opportunity–the opportunity of decision-making.

It’s also imperative to understand Nolan’s split with Warner Bros. in 2021 adds up to this, not to mention the fact that it was with him that they made north of $4 billion ¹ (and counting) throughout his stay.


Theme and Subject-Matter

Another evident factor between the two movies would be their themes and setup. Barbie is this cool and fun subject with a child-like touch to structure. On the flip side, Oppenheimer is this historical touch to when the first atomic bomb was made–a theme that Christopher Nolan absolutely the beast in.

When you come to think of it, the blackness and whiteness of the two somehow add up to the peoples’ interest. They’re in complete contrast, and it would seem like they’re targeting a different demographic.

But what can we learn from these styles of marketing? What can we pick up from this as staffing firms?


The Marketing Wizardry… And What We Can Learn from It  

Organizations and firms can pick up valuable lessons from what happened with the Barbenheimer hype. From the seemingly witty announcement by Warner Bros. approaching the date to the social media blast that sparked the interest of millions of people around the world.

Preparation is Key in Marketing

Many people undermine marketing and all its branches. They place it in the singularity of posting on social media, sending emails, or writing up, without considering the art, psychology, and science of everything in between.

A successful marketing strategy isn’t made overnight. It requires a great deal of creativity and a greater deal of preparation. The Barbie strategy had us on a thread when they released a few teaser trailers that didn’t have anything connected to the plot. Meanwhile, Oppenheimer’s unorthodox presentation was through a YouTube countdown.

This is what led to the rise of both movies in the digital sphere. They capitalized on the buildup of suspense and how viewers will anticipate the movie.

Remember: A goal without an actionable plan is nothing but a wish.

Related Reading: Mid-Year Review: How to Know if Your Staffing Firm is Hitting all Your Marketing Goals 


Marketing is One Thing, Influence is Another…

Bring them together, and your legacy remains forever. One of the things that hyped and heightened Barbie’s footprint is the AI selfie generator. This one blew up to the extent that even famous people like Helen Mirren, Dua Lipa, Ryan Gosling ² had scattered images with the Barbie background on them. Imagine millions of people seeing it? You’d even be more surprised if they didn’t look Barbie up.

Oppenheimer’s take was different, but they leveraged their stars’ social media platforms to spread the word and trailer.

There’s power in people and people in power. Even though your organization is unbeknownst to millions of people, you can leverage influencers, celebrities, and other famous people’s networks to simply spread the word.


Being an Online Trend is a Goldmine

The age of newspapers and TV commercials are slowly taking a beating from the power of social media. This has been proven by The Rise of Gru last 2022 when a TikTok trend about teenagers wearing suits to see the film started. ³

Thanks to this, the film garnered $939,000+ in ticket sales by the end of the year and fifth place at the international box office.

Firms like us can leverage social media trends for our benefit. It doesn’t need to be in the millions for it to work, but by being prepared, having a plan in place and leveraging popular people is the perfect path for being an online trend.

Related Reading: Social Media Day 2023: SocMed Insights for Staffing Agencies


Treat Hype Like Your Best Friend   

Try picturing it: would there be differences in response if the movies’ themes were more similar? One of the things that hyped it up more is the big leap between a preppy and pinkish paradise to a completely monotonous, dark, and serious one.

The wild difference sparked the interest of many. Whether this was intentional or not, both movies went with the flow and reaped the gains during show time.

Today, the great determiner of success would be online exposure–good or bad. Bad publicity is still publicity and the way it’s handled determines its outcome.

Staffing firms are gradually gaining traction both for clients and candidates. Let’s take this hype and go with its flow. Who knows? We might be getting closer to our tens of millions.



From beautifying ads and visuals like Barbie to strategically carrying out marketing operations Oppenheimer-like, Allied Insight will never be short of what you need. As your full-stack marketing partner, we’ll get you results faster than you expect and in the grandest of ways possible.

Whether you need to polish your branding or if you require assistance with marketing rollouts, we’re a nudge away. Don’t hesitate to shoot us a message.



1 Coen, Buster. “$4.2 Billion and Counting: ‘Dunkirk’ Director Christopher Nolan Keeps Delivering at Box Office.” The Street. 24 Jul. 2017. https://www.thestreet.com/investing/stocks/how-dunkirk-director-christopher-nolan-has-banked-a-whopping-4-2-billion-at-the-box-office-14237586.

2 Naquian-Wheeler, Andre. Vogue. “Surprise! Dua Lipa Is a Mermaid in Barbie.” 4 Apr. 2023. https://www.vogue.com/article/surprise-dua-lipa-is-a-mermaid-in-barbie.

3 Fahy, Claire. “‘Why Is Everyone Wearing Suits?’: #GentleMinions Has Moviegoers Dressing Up.” The New York Times. 11 Jul. 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/08/style/minions-gentleminions-tik-tok-trend.html


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