“She’s A National Treasure For Australia And A Human Treasure For The Planet” – Warner Bros’ Josh Goldstine on Margot Robbie, Barbie And Marketing

“She’s A National Treasure For Australia And A Human Treasure For The Planet” –  Warner Bros’ Josh Goldstine on Margot Robbie, Barbie And Marketing

It was a star-studded line-up at the AANA’s Reset for Growth in Sydney yesterday with speakers from some of last year’s biggest marketing campaigns invited to take the stage.

Top of the agenda was Josh Goldstine – president of worldwide marketing at Warner Bros, Picture Group. Goldstine was dialing into the conference from the US.

Goldstine spoke candidly about what it was really like to lead the marketing efforts behind Barbie – largely hailed to be one of the best-marketed films of all-time.

One of the biggest risks he said was the initial teaser trailer in which young girls can be seen gawping at a giant Barbie.

Despite being someone who “loved market research” and “data”, Goldstine said he wanted to do something with “this very first piece of AV material which was unexpected”.

“We were sort of inspired by the opening of the movie to do a parody of 2001 [2001: A Space Odyssey],” Goldstine said in reference to the famous ‘the dawn of man’ scene.

“It’s this sort of reference to this kind of classic cinephile moment from 2001. And it’s certainly the last thing that you would expect from a little girl Barbie movie,” he went on.

There was no unanimous evidence that a teaser in that style would be a success, Goldstine said. The data was not the strongest in favour of the style and there was push back from the global marketing team he explained.

“We have a global team and we sort of reached out and quizzed the various markets and I started getting these collective emails from everyone – ‘No, that’s not the right piece. That’s not the right tone. It’s not what we should be doing for Barbie’”.

Their willingness to not go with the highest testing material and choose something that would defy those expectations was an important first step in recalibrating how people see Barbie he went on.

One of the toughest challenges for marketing Barbie was making it relevant to a wide audience in an increasingly divided world.

“One of the worries we had when we got to America was that people would think ‘this is the politically correct Barbie, the woke Barbie.”

To test whether this was the case they screened Barbie in a very Republican conservative area of Texas.

To their welcome surprise, the women in the audience cheered when America Ferrara gave her famous speech about how hard it is to be a woman in today’s world.

“It was an incredibly gratifying indicator for us that this movie was not about your political affiliations or your ideas or your liberalism or your conservative intent. It touched something deep and universal about what it meant to be a woman.”

If there was one woman that Goldstine couldn’t give enough praise to it was Margot Robbie.

“First of all she’s a national treasure for Australia and she’s a human treasure for the planet. She is everything you could hope for she is brilliant, she is tenacious. She is unapologetic and she is an extraordinary producer.”

“I could spend the next hour talking about the virtues of Margot Robbie.”




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