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The Secret of the Barbie Movie’s Marketing Success

Barbie is a genuine phenomenon, reaching $1 billion in worldwide box office in only three weeks on the strength of legions of pink-clad moviegoers. We asked Yale SOM’s Zoe Chance, a former Mattel brand manager, about the movie’s marketing and message.

Fans in New York’s Times Square wearing Barbie clothes for the opening of Barbie movie on July 21, 2023.
  • Can You Make a Donation Today—and Tell All Your Friends?

    Sharing information about our charitable donations can multiply their impact. Prof. Deborah Small tested whether reframing why a donor should disclose a gift can help encourage them to spread the good news.

    An illustration of a woman peaking through curtains in front of a gift box
  • What Does It Mean to Be Generous?

    Deborah Small, Adrian C. Israel Professor of Marketing, explores how we make choices that affect our own and others’ welfare and what leaders need to understand about behavioral marketing to expand social impact.

    An illustration of hands raised in front of a heart
  • When Counting Calories, Words Are More Valuable than Pictures 

    A new study co-authored by Yale SOM’s Gal Zauberman finds that apps that track calories with a photo are appealing, but manually logging your meals is actually more effective. The results offer a cautionary tale about giving consumers what they think they want, he says.

    An illustration of a smartphone taking a photo of a salad
  • How Does Inflation Change Consumer Behavior?

    Inflation has put consumers in an anxious, angry mood, even as the economic data shows confounding bright spots. We asked Yale SOM’s Ravi Dhar how the perception of rising prices affects buying behavior, and how companies can respond.

    Shoppers in a supermarket seen from overhead
  • Now It’s Personal: How Knowing an Ad Is Targeted Changes Its Impact

    A consumer’s knowledge that an advertisement has been tailored to their interests changes how they respond, according to a new study co-authored by Yale SOM’s Jiwoong Shin. Firms evaluating marketing strategies should factor consumers’ inferences about targeted ads into their advertising decisions, Shin says.

    An illustration of a bald man looking at an ad for a hair growth product that includes a version of himself with hair
  • To Convince the Vaccine Hesitant, Understand Their Underlying Motivations

    What will change the minds of those reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine? Yale SOM’s Vineet Kumar and two Yale doctors used the tools of consumer marketing to survey hesitant healthcare workers and analyze their responses.

    An illustration of a puzzle in the shape of a head and a syringe
  • To Reach Weight-Loss Targets, Start with Small Goals

    Drawing on data from a weight-loss app, Yale SOM’s Kosuke Uetake and his co-author found that setting small goals and changing them frequently helped dieters reach their long-term goals.

    An illustration of a mountain with a path marked by small flags and a large flag at the top.
  • Machine Learning Model Extracts Insights from Customer Reviews

    A new study co-authored by Yale SOM’s K. Sudhir uses natural-language analysis to learn from what customers are saying—and to infer meaning from what remains unsaid.

    An illustration of artificial intelligence
  • When Charitable Organizations Thank Donors, Should They Ask for More?

    For charitable organizations that rely on donors for financial support, there is a delicate art to asking for gifts and expressing gratitude.

    Speech bubbles reading "Thank you!" and "Just one more thing..."
  • How Should Companies Fuel Word of Mouth?

    New research finds that offering a free tier or giving existing customers bonuses for making referrals—or a combination—can be effective, depending on the size of the audience and whether the project has a social aspect.

    A vintage illustration of women talking through a tube