“BARBENHEIMER” – DID OPPENHEIMER JUMP IN THE BARBIE BANDWAGON FOR PUBLICITY?

21st July served as an entertainment blast with the weekend being officially called Barbenheimer weekend by internet fandoms. The fandom was divided between which one they will watch first as both directors never fail to deliver excellent movies in their own genres. The movies virtually and conceptually are oxymorons; the colour schemes, genres, themes, music and the list is endless. Both movies have an elaborated star-cast from Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Dua Lipa, Emma Mackey as some of the popular names in Barbie to Cilian Murphey, Robert Downey Jr, Emily Blunt and Florence Pugh in Oppenheimer, people were waiting on their seats to watch their favourite cast members on the big screens.

There is no debate about how elaborate the Barbie marketing went. From the cast reveal, trailer to merchandise, no one has ever seen so much pink! Social media even went to the lengths of making memes and jokes about the worldwide exhaustion of the colour pink due to the excessive use in sets and costumes.  The creative marketing was extravagant and even brands that had nothing in common with the movie jumped on the bandwagon to collect some of the barbie clout.

Oppenheimer on the other hand had a rather low-key and traditional method of promotions keeping in mind the theme of the movie. The promotions were limited to the star-cast posting on their official Instagram handles, audience interaction and an official website dedicated to provide more information to the audience. This all seems justified in light of the movie and the story. So why is the Barbie v/s Oppenheimer debate going on so strongly? While some are focused on the experience of enjoying movie halls and dressing up with their peers to “go to the movies” others are fixated upon the “who did it better” factor.

The ‘barbenheimer’ trend was started by fans when both release dates were announced. When the casual poles started about which movie they will watch first and then turned into a violent debate about which movie will do better post release. Nolan and Greta are both extremely talented directors who pour their souls in their movies and the fact can be verified through their past movies but did Oppenheimer jump on the Barbie bandwagon for the promotions? Is Oppenheimer as popular because of the mass debates on different social media platforms?

At first glance, it seems that way. It looks like Oppenheimer jumped the bandwagon when it came to the social media buzz. The various trends that filled our pages including “Barbie bf, Oppenheimer gf” and people guessing their favourite fictional characters purchasing tickets of either movies. Oppenheimer was not meant for the kind of publicity it was getting through the trends. To extinguish the feud between the fandoms or light matches in the sparks, Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig posted pictures in front of the Oppenheimer poster with tickets in hand.

Coming back to the question of whether Oppenheimer jumped on the Barbie promotions bandwagon on social media platforms, it can be seen that most of the buzz was created by feuding fans but the fuel into the fire might be done by the PR teams which will never be revealed by either publicist. In which case this will be one of the biggest PR case studies in entertainment industries, but it doesn’t seem that way.

In conclusion, Barbie touched all the right nerves with its audience and the extravagant structure of the movie is what is responsible for the social media buzz. Finding the right audience is the responsibility of a good PR agency. Publsh will do that for you whether it is entertainment, architecture or product PR.