‘Barbie’ AI selfie generator goes viral with 13M users

2023/07/28 Innoverview Read

Dive Brief: 

  • PhotoRoom, an AI-based photo editing app, shared success indicators from its recent tie up with Warner Bros. and agency Bond for an official “Barbie” selfie-generator filter ahead of the film’s July 21 debut, according to a press release.  

  • In total, the interactive barbieselfie.ai filter has been used over 13 million times since its April 3 release. The filter functions by using PhotoRoom’s API to remove backgrounds from user-generated content, replacing it with an image that replicates the film’s promotional posters. 

  • The filter has proven popular, having been used by consumers, brands and celebrities including Rihanna and actor Pedro Pascal. The effort was one of the many marketing plays for “Barbie” that helped the film garner a $155 million opening weekend at the box office

Dive Insight: 

Warner Bros. and PhotoRoom’s “Barbie” selfie-generator is an indication of how marketers are continuing to look to buzz surrounding AI as a means to capture the attention of consumers, and its success could be a signal to others in Hollywood looking to take advantage of similar strategies. The tech has been at the center of adland this year, with activations from Coca-Cola and Mint Mobile among early examples.

Consumers using the interactive offering can upload an image of themselves to be instantly plugged into the “Barbie” film’s promotional poster. The filter, which has gained much of its attention from being shared across social media, relies on the use of visual AI and took less than an hour for PhotoRoom to implement, suggesting that similar activations could be within reach for others.

“There are boundless opportunities to harness the power of generative AI for our upcoming campaigns. Its potential to create captivating and personalized experiences is truly remarkable, opening doors to innovative storytelling and audience engagement that were once unimaginable,” said Cameron Curtis, executive vice president of worldwide digital marketing at Warner Bros., in release details. 

Riding a wave of pop-culture buzz, the “Barbie” movie has become a bright spot, especially when it comes to its hefty marketing efforts, which have included partnerships with a number of on-theme brands for clever promotional tie-ins. A collaboration with Bumble, for instance, offered users a chance to match with some of the movie’s notable Barbie and Ken characters, while a tie-up with Roku yielded a home screen takeover on Roku devices that was inclusive of themed imagery like Barbie’s dream house.

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