September 7, 2023

Barbie x Primark

MD, Stephen Ardern on why Primark’s collaboration with Mattel is a match made in Barbie Land

Stephen Ardern

Managing Director

The launch of ‘Barbie’ has seen a plethora of brand partnerships to make the most of all the buzz surrounding the movie. Here’s Stephen’s thoughts on why Primark has got it right.

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This month sees the release of the latest global franchise phenomenon in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. And, for most brands, it has provided a cultural moment to position products and partner up, to capitalise on the hype. The list of collaborations is extensive; from Balmain to Balenciaga, brands are all going hot pink this season to meet the increased demand for ‘Barbiecore’.

Google searches for the term ‘Barbiecore’ have increased by 7,900% since the trailer release, and the ‘Barbie’ film used so much pink paint that it depleted the global reserves of its supplier, Rosco.

We have been close to this particular release, as we’ve been working alongside our client, Primark, to bring their new partnership with Mattel to life. And following several successful partnerships with Greggs, Pineapple Dance Studios, and Disney, it was critical to get this one right.

Brand collaborations are an important part of Primark’s approach, and Barbie is one of those perfect moments for several reasons:

01. Audience alignment

Both Barbie and Primark have a target audience that overlaps to a certain extent. Barbie, a popular fashion doll brand, primarily targets young girls, while Primark is known for its affordable and trendy clothing and accessories, attracting a similar demographic. The alignment of their target audiences allows them to reach a broader consumer base and generate mutual interest.

02. Complementary products

Barbie is not just a doll but a brand encompassing various products, including clothing, accessories, and toys. Primark, as a fashion retailer, offers a wide range of apparel and accessories for women, men, and children. The partnership allowed Barbie to extend its brand presence by offering in-film exclusive products in Primark stores, creating a unique and attractive shopping experience for customers and allowing them to shop many of the looks from the year’s biggest cinematic release.

03. Shared values

Barbie has come a long way since 1959, with a new inclusive point of view, empowering girls and encouraging them to dream big. At the same time, Primark is known for its affordable and accessible fashion that appeals to a broad customer base. By partnering, they can reinforce these shared values and create a positive brand image that resonates across the generations.

04. Co-Branding opportunities

The partnership provides opportunities for co-branding initiatives, where Barbie’s iconic branding elements can be incorporated into Primark’s products or store displays. This allows both brands to leverage each other’s brand equity and recognition, ultimately driving sales and increasing brand awareness.

Perfect partnerships are seldom created by chance. Typically, having a clear vision for what a successful partnership looks like is a good starting point; what you want to achieve, what you’d be willing to sacrifice.

Continuous is a brand agency that works with ambitious global brands. Over the last 10 years, we have helped brands such as Primark, Disney, Mattel, Mitre, and Ideal Standard navigate and benefit from brand collaborations. Do you need help to find the perfect brand partner?

Start with an email, and we’ll be in touch within 24 hours to organise a phone call, video chat, or face-to-face coffee – whatever works best for you.


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