The Secret of the Barbie Movie’s Marketing Success and More – The CMO Whisperer’s Friday Fast Five

Welcome to the first edition of The CMO Whisperer’s Friday Fast Five. Every Friday I will highlight five recent articles that I think CMOs – and all marketers, advertisers, business leaders etc., should be aware of… and why.


  1. The Secret of the Barbie Movie’s Marketing Success

Source: Yale Insights

Why you need to read it: The piece is written by Zoe Chance, a former Mattel brand manager, now a Senior Lecturer in Management at the university. This kind of “on the ground” or real-life experience is priceless. It does a great job at getting right to Chance’s views on the film from a marketing perspective.

What you need to learn from it: Without a doubt the number one thing CMOs, marketers, brand managers and all the others with all the differing marketing and advertising titles in their email signatures need to learn is this: “The Barbie one-two punch that some legacy brands could copy is to poke fun at themselves, then deliver a message that feels timely and relevant.”

A textbook example of this comes from Jon Evans, host of the wildly popular podcast, Uncensored CMO. Not long ago he shared what he dubbed as a “blooper video.” I absolutely loved this, as the more human we can be in an AI-digital world the better.

Click here to read the full article.

TL;DR: Not to repeat myself but I cannot stress the importance of brands – especially legacy brands – poking fun at themselves then driving home a timely and relevant message. Consumers love when brands “let their hair down” and show a human side.


  1. Pinterest’s CMO: Marketers should not change their ratio of spend when budgets are cut

Source: Marketing Week

Why you need to read it: The economics of the world of marketing are always changing; we all know that. Budgets are more fluid today than ever before. So, getting a chance to hear from the CMO of one of the biggest brands in the world and how she looks at inevitable budgetary cuts is worth your time.

What you need to learn from it: In uncertain economic times the natural reaction for many is to slash spending, particularly on top of funnel activities. Big mistake. As told by marketing professor Mark Ritson in a 2021 piece for Marketing Week, all one needs to do is look at the pandemic and how one brand, P&G, increased marketing spend and increased revenue while another, Coca-Cola, did the opposite and saw revenues fall.

Click here to read the full article.

TL;DR: “Often marketers stop the brand spend and keep the acquisition and performance spend going. That is always a mistake. If you have to lower – fine. But keep your ratio the same. Lower the absolute dollars or euros or pounds – but keep investing in brand.” – Andréa Mallard, CMO, Pinterest


  1. 6 ways to improve CX – even if it’s not in your job description

Source: CX Network

Why you need to read it: How can I put this? Oh yeah. We are ALL in CX. Everything we do, regardless of our role, impacts customer experience one way or the other. This, in and of itself, is more than enough reason to read this article.

What you need to learn from it: In addition to the above – learning that EVERY role impacts CX, among the 6 ways the author lays out, my personal favorite is this one: Be your own customer. In other words, take the journey and, pardon the pun, experience the experience for yourself. Nothing will ever replace the practice of walking the same walk your customers do, for that is, and always will be, the best way to identify any and all fixes that need to be made.

Click here to read the full article.

TL;DR: “If no one in the organization is responsible for looking at the journey experienced by a customer through the customer’s perspective, it is very possible that the experiences are unintentional, inconsistent, ordinary and fail to meet expectations.”


  1. Examining The Future Of Marketing In Light Of AI Concerns

Source: Forbes

Why you need to read it: Is there a bigger elephant in the marketing/advertising room right now than AI? You need to read this piece because it does not come down on either side of the AI debate. It does a fantastic job of laying out, in short order, what impact AI may have on marketing including the roles that may be affected by it.

What you need to learn from it: I could not have said this better myself: “The truth lies somewhere in between the extremes, with generative AI introducing new capabilities to automate certain tasks while preserving other functions for human marketing professionals.”

And if you’re interested in what Sir Martin Sorrell believes will be the 5 biggest ways AI will change marketing, have a listen.

TL;DR: The functions least likely to be automated: strategy, innovation and brand management. The functions most likely to be automated: insights, media and internal agency.


  1. Inside TikTok’s Out-Of-Home Marketing Approach As It Expands Further Beyond Mobile

Source: Ad Age

Why you need to read it: When something has one billion active monthly users, you need to know what they’re up to and how it could impact you as a marketer and your brand. Now, combine that with the fact that you can potentially reach not only these users but the rest of the world NOT on the platform via the upwards of two billion screens outside of mobile and it should be clear why you need to read this.

What you need to learn from it: Marketers already have access to these two billion screens. Now, however, they can deliver their messaging not only via a “traditional” ad but under the guise or umbrella of TikTok to, as the article points out, “engage younger, digital-native consumers to screens they encounter closer to the point of sale in retailers such as convenience stores.”

TL;DR: A platform with a billion active monthly users is giving marketers the opportunity to engage consumers on upwards of two billion screens OTHER than their phones.

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