Did You Notice All the GM Vehicles in ‘Barbie’?
Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is all the rage, with its seemingly bottomless budget, beautiful imagery, and well-written storylines. The movie received sponsorship from one of the biggest automakers, General Motors. And what better way to advertise the brand’s latest vehicles than next to another American icon, Barbie? Here are all the GM vehicles you might not have noticed in the Barbie movie.
General Motors was a sponsor for ‘Barbie’
Product placement isn’t a new concept in Hollywood. It’s one of the best ways for movies and TV shows to get funding and sponsorships. Some productions do it in a subtle, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it way, while others force viewers to watch a five-minute in-movie/show ad for their sponsor (à la New Girl).
The highly anticipated Barbie finally premiered in July 2023 and didn’t disappoint. The movie is “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, with a nearly 90% critics’ score. The film helped bring back nostalgia for a beloved doll and gave it a modern take. The pink saturation and superb storytelling aside, Barbie featured a surprising partnership with General Motors (GM).
The movie was more or less a 114-minute commercial for Mattel, but GM also got to take a bite out of that pie. Barbie made $162 million domestically during its opening weekend, and GM earned about $8 million in product placement value from that alone for 10 minutes of screen time, Automotive News reports.
But GM didn’t just lend its cars to the movie. One of the auto giant’s buildings can also be spotted in the background during the car chase scene, which helps tie the whole thing together in a pretty pink bow. It’s unclear how much money GM poured into the Barbie movie, but it’s safe to assume it was a lot.
All the GM cars in the ‘Barbie’ movie
At least four GM vehicles appear during the movie, but perhaps the most iconic is Barbie’s pink C1 Chevy Corvette. The legendary car first showed up in the trailer and gets the story going, so it’s very in-your-face. Even before the movie came out, consumer interest in the Corvette grew by 120%. According to Robb Report, Google data shows that searches for “Barbie Corvette” have increased by 80% and “Barbie movie car” by 450% in the past three months.
Another prominent GM vehicle in the Barbie movie is a bright-blue 2024 Chevy Blazer SS EV. America Ferrera’s character, Gloria, drives the sporty compact SUV in the film. The EV even does some impressive stunts in a heart-pounding action sequence that sees Gloria save Barbie (Margot Robbie) from the clutches of Mattel executives. GM also supplied the villains with blacked-out Chevy Suburban SUVs that chase our protagonist from the Mattel headquarters.
In addition, Barbie‘s deuteragonist, Ken (Ryan Gosling), drives the new GMC Hummer EV. It starts out as an aggressively manly vehicle when he stumbles upon it in the real world. However, after he takes it to Barbie Land, the Barbies reclaim it for themselves, turning it pink.
The GM-Barbie movie car sponsorship was mutually beneficial
GM and Barbie‘s partnership might seem unusual, but it makes sense beyond the financials. The automaker’s role also echoes the movie’s theme of empowerment: GM is the only major auto manufacturer with a woman CEO, Mary Barra. It’s unclear if that was a coincidence or a strategy, but it aligned with one of the movie’s main messages.
And through its EV lineup, GM also envisions a better world with zero crashes and zero emissions. Similarly, the Barbies in Barbie Land believe they have made the world a better place by showing that women can be successful at anything, including the CEO of one of the largest car companies.