Seeing pink? You’re not alone. Greta Gerwig’s box-office hit Barbie, described by one newspaper as a ‘riotous, candy-coloured feminist fable’, has taken the world by storm. It’s earned more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide, making it the biggest film ever to be directed by a woman. The marketing strategy has also been making headlines.
Chances are you’ve already been targeted by one of the countless brands that have hopped on the proverbial plastic bandwagon (just Google ‘Barbie movie’ for a taste). But alongside the all-star cast, inspired collaborations and phenomenal reception, the film also holds some important lessons for internal communicators.
Know your audiences
Although many internal communications budgets may pale in comparison with Barbie’s marketing allocation (reportedly a whopping $150 million), a little can go a long way with the right strategy. The Barbie movie didn’t adopt a broad-brush approach, but targeted different audiences in specific ways, identifying key touchpoints for maximum engagement. The same should be true for your internal comms. Dividing your audiences into well-defined groups makes it easier to understand their needs. From there, the tried and tested ‘Think, Feel, Do’ model will help you create content they will relate to, for more meaningful connections.
Empower a diverse community
The Barbie movie also recognised the importance of championing diversity and inclusion. From on-screen representation to collaborations with a wide range of artists, the brand sought to foster a connection with diverse audiences. What’s more, from the Barbie Selfie Generator to the Barbie Style Instagram account, the movie’s digital engagement strategy wasn’t just about encouraging user-generated content but also empowering people to embrace and celebrate their unique identities. If one of the main goals of the internal comms function is to create a shared community through authentic and relatable storytelling, then we need to ensure that everyone feels respected, heard and included.
Same story, different angle
Repetition is essential for retention. In fact, without repetition, most people will forget up to 90% of what they’ve learned within just seven days. But with the vast amount of information your employees are processing every day, it’s vital to find new and unique ways to communicate the same thing. The Barbie movie is a prime example. Its overriding moral – that the patriarchy harms everyone, regardless of gender – has been frequently revisited. Whether it successfully landed that message is a matter of debate among critics. But what’s undeniable is that the film delivered it in many unique and memorable ways – including a Greased Lightnin’-style Ken dance-off. Nobody’s forgetting that in a hurry!
Playfulness goes a long way
Striking the right balance between factual and engaging content can be a challenge – especially after it’s gone through multiple stakeholder sign-offs. Always remember the person at the other end of your communication. They do not owe you their attention; you have to earn it. Playful language that makes colleagues smile is a sure-fire way to keep them reading or listening, increasing the likelihood that they will remember your messages. It’s also a great way to encourage participation, helping make your employees your ambassadors. ‘Kenough’ said!
Want to add a touch of sparkle to your internal communications? Get in touch today.