General Motors Hits It Big With Barbie

Even if you haven’t seen "Barbie," you may have caught one of the most exciting scenes in the movie thanks to a Chevrolet marketing integration. 

The 30-second spot from Commonweath//McCann is the fourth highest most-seen ad in July, according to

It's a chase scene where Barbie runs from Mattel headquarters and jumps into the backseat of a Chevrolet Blazer EV.

Filmed in downtown Long Beach, California, the scene is part of a Chevrolet commercial that debuted on the automaker’s website in mid-July, just before the movie opened. 

The Blazer is shown outrunning a pair of Chevrolet Suburbans, which nearly catch up with it. But some smooth driving moves by Gloria, played by America Ferrera, help Barbie evade the “bad guys” who want to put Barbie back in a box (the nerve of some men!).

It was smart of GM to take over the scene by allowing  the chasers, as well as the chased, to drive its products. Another automaker’s vehicle would have been distracting in that context and detracted from the spotlight being planted squarely on GM’s yet-to-be released Blazer EV.

Jasmine Swain, brand and digital communications, social media, at General Motors, says putting together the social plan has been “a dream.” 

“I partnered with my Chevrolet colleagues and the teams over at Mattel, Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment to make sure we had a solid plan to highlight some of our most iconic EVs that were featured throughout 'Barbie,'” she writes on LinkedIn. “From planning posts to sending out surprise Hot Wheel pink Corvette toys to some of our most enthusiastic followers, this was absolutely my favorite project to work on.”

It’s always a gamble to tie your product so closely to a movie not knowing if it’s going to do well at the box office. But General Motors clearly made a solid decision with this one. It’s a product placement dream. 

Three weeks into its run, writer-director Greta Gerwig's blockbuster has yielded $1.03 billion at the global box office, according to official Warner Bros. reports. Furthermore, it’s the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman.

Ken is also shown driving a GM vehicle — the GMC Hummer EV — after he discovers male patriarchy. That was also a daring move by GM, since Ken’s newfound machismo, including a fascination with horses, is the butt of several jokes. 

But — spoiler alert— Ken ends up being a good guy in the end despite all that, when Barbie helps him to see he’s actually not dependent on her for propping up his self-esteem. 

There’s another GM tie-in to the movie besides the vehicles that isn’t so obvious. Mattel’s CEO is played by Will Ferrell, who has appeared recently in several of the automaker’s Super Bowl spots. 

In real life, GM’s actual CEO is a woman — the only major automaker who can make that claim. 

Something tells me Mary Barra signed off on this deal without hesitation after hearing the film’s empowering message. 

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