Barbie mania hits Google: UAE users see search results get massive pink makeover ahead of film’s global release


The world has been hit by a pink tsunami. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is one of the most anticipated movies of 2023 — and it is all set for its world premiere. Hollywood’s new take on the fashion doll has opened a vast marketing campaign: the world is awash in pink, and everyone wants a slice of ‘Barbie’ fever.

Fancy pink sauce on your burger? What about ‘Barbie-fying’ your pet with sweaters and beds with Barbie motifs? If that’s too low-brow, perhaps you’d be interested in hot-pink, Barbie-monogrammed knitted leggings by luxury designer Balmain instead, selling at Neiman Marcus for a cool $2,150.

Even Google has joined the Barbie-mania with its search page flashing sparkles and getting a massive pink makeover. Users searching for the movie, the director Greta Gerwig or actors Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling are welcomed with a pink sparkling page.

Want the Barbie sparkle to continue? Click on the confetti icon at the bottom of the screen or share the experience with friends with the next icon on both desktop and mobile.

Running a specific Google Search for the Barbie doll itself throws up a page of images featuring Barbie doll designs and linking to a mix of retail and news websites before listing website results in the search engine’s traditional style.

Barbie mania

Of course, other global brands are not to be left behind. Microsoft’s XBox has come up with a Barbie console series and HGTV is hosting a four-part Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge. Microsoft, Forever 21, Ulta Beauty, Hot Wheels, and Chevrolet are among the companies looking to cash in on Barbie mania.

The influential colour company Pantone even has a shade to match the zeitgeist: 219C is officially Barbie Pink. Restaurants are offering special pink-themed food, while interior decorators are showing options like vibrant pink backsplashes to “Barbiefy” your kitchen.

Toy maker Mattel reached a deal with rival toy giant Hasbro, which will release a Barbie version of the classic board game Monopoly in the fall. In exchange, Mattel will showcase “Transformers” on its Uno card game in connection with a Hasbro film release.

Margot Robbie has embraced Barbiecore fashion at premieres around the world, recreating some of the doll’s most iconic looks, but the Barbie lifestyle trend is also moving full steam ahead.

Airbnb is offering up a stay at Barbie’s “Malibu DreamHouse” for two nights in connection with the film’s debut. “Placed perfectly above the beach with panoramic views, this life-size toy pink mansion is a dream come true!” reads the listing.

Singer John Legend and his model wife Chrissy Teigen took the plunge, posting a series of pictures on Instagram of their stay at the hot pink property.

The most ubiquitous shade of pink used on the Warner Bros film’s set, a retro bubblegum hue made by Rosco, was used in such great quantities that the shoot has been blamed for a global shortage.


In many countries, the film is opening in parallel with another big Hollywood entry, the Christopher Nolan-directed “Oppenheimer,” a biopic about the father of the atomic bomb.

The unlikely face-off between the dark historical thriller and a fuchsia-tinted romp about a doll has created online buzz about a phenomenon dubbed “Barbenheimer.”

Both movies are opening on the heels of another big-screen blockbuster, “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One,” which led the domestic box office last weekend.

A starry soundtrack includes tracks from Dua Lipa (who also appears in the film), Lizzo, and Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice, who recorded a cover of “Barbie Girl,” a 1997 hit by Danish-Norwegian band Aqua.

With the movie hitting big screens across Europe from Wednesday, and North America from Friday, expectation is building at how director and indie film darling Greta Gerwig has tackled the most flagrant of corporate product-placement vehicles.


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