Luttrell and Welch Co-author Paper on “Barbie” Film

Regina Luttrell, senior associate dean and associate professor of public relations, and Carrie Welch, a media studies research assistant, co-authored the paper “Everything Barbie All At Once: ‘A Marketing Campaign for the Ages.'” The paper was published in Case Studies in Strategic Communication Journal.


The Barbie brand has long been a paradoxical symbol of imagination, comfort, sexism, objectification, feminism, and conflicted cultural influence, challenging and entrancing both children and adults for generations. In the years since 2015, the iconic doll has undergone a transformation, redefining her place in contemporary society. The marketing and public relations efforts associated with the Barbie brand over time have been widely documented. However, no campaign -Barbie or otherwise, according to industry experts -has come close to the size, magnitude, complexity, and intentionality of the campaign to promote the 2023 Barbie movie. This case study examines the scope and impact of this integrated marketing and public relations campaign through its strategy and tactics, while also retracing the history of the promotional history of the Barbie brand and contextually situating its relationship to feminism. Barbie’s intricate connection with feminism holds significant influence over her place in American society; a still-developing theme as the film and campaign further cement her enigmatic position within the cultural discourse.