“Humans Have Only One Ending, Ideas Live Forever.” That is a quote from the main trailer for the Barbie movie which opened on 7/21 to record box office opening weekend with a massive $155 million in ticket sales in North America. By 8/6, 17 days after opening, the LA Times reported the movie surpassed a billion in box office sales globally.

While yes, everyone is talking about the movie. This is about Mattel selling the IP (intellectual property) to literally over 100 marketers.

Let’s start with a nod to marketer of the year candidate, Ynon Kreiz. Mr. Kreiz is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mattel. He joined the company as CEO in April 2018 and was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors in May 2018. In 2017, before Kreitz, Mattel’s stock lost 44.2% of its value and sales for Barbie were low and trending down.

Barbie Movie Poster

Mr. Kreiz has led a multi-year transformation strategy that established Mattel as a high performing company where they consider their IP is as important as their toys. Under Mr. Kreiz leadership, Mattel grew its Adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization (EBITDA) almost eight-fold to nearly $1 billion and achieved Gross Billings growth for four consecutive years in constant currency.

For many, so far so good . . . culturally it is Barbie-mania out there. Many of the fashion and lifestyle brands/retailers with movie inspired collections sold-out quickly (like Zara, Crocs, GAP, and Impala Roller Skates).

However, is adding pink and a Barbie™ logo all a partner marketer needs to do? Does association with the Barbie movie spike interest in a partner’s advertising message with the same uptick as Mattel’s or Warner Bros.’ sales cited above?

As a leading ad effectiveness and consumer insights company, with strong measurement of product placement and integration, Advertising Benchmark Index, (ABX) brings a unique perspective on how Barbie licensees tackled the task of integrating their brands with this iconic property. ABX evaluates the effectiveness of ads across all media types, using the identical methodology which allows for true comparisons across media, between competitors, and over time/Brand history.

This analysis, from Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX), begins to answer that question from a creative perspective. ABX cannot report overall success of a licensee’s sales increase, or if social media likes skyrocketed or if other business goals are met, but ABX can see if the Barbie movie zeitgeist is energizing the messaging for the partners. As one example, ABX did a deep dive on the :30 Chevy television commercial that uses an actual scene from the movie. Chevy was both an IP partner for its advertising and a product integration partner in the Barbie movie.


Chevrolet’s ad associated with the Barbie movie features the Chevy Blazer EV driven by the mom character in the movie played by Hispanic actress America Ferrera. The movie and the ad also have Barbie’s famous pink Chevy Corvette featured. To get full perspective we compared the :30 Chevy Barbie ad to Mattel’s :90 Barbie Brand ad and the Chevy EV SUV launch ad from 9/2022. That ad features the Equinox EV SUV while the Barbie ad features the Blazer EV SUV.

Baseline :90 Barbie TV

Setting a high bar is Mattel’s own video in support of the whole Barbie line of toys. Year-to-date in 2023, this ad has the highest overall ABX score of any ad run in the US in the English language. This execution was first aired in 2016 and has been revived to coincide with the Barbie movie release. The overall ad score is 140. The next highest English language ad is at a 131 ABX index. The reputation score is also off the charts at 278, 42% higher than the next highest reputation score of 196. Most impressive is that this is an overall Brand ad ending simply with “learn more at barbie.com” as its only call to action (CTA). Yet the Action score is also high at 136.

Since the ad features people, another key measure that ABX looks at is the ABX Gender Equality Index™ (GEI™) (link). This metric is the global gold standard for gender portrayal. This ad’s 123 GEI™ Index for Females is also the highest of any US television ad year-to-date. And despite the social controversy of whether Barbie is a figure of female empowerment or a stereotyping sex symbol, women, and girls both found this message to be a presentation of particularly good female role models.

Mattel Barbie Brand Ad :90 run on TV and online video to view video

Chevy’s Barbie ad ─ Chevy Blazer EV SUV :30 TV

For advertisers, the whole investment in licensing another Brand or product placement/integration is grounded in the hope that a favorable transfer of the licensor’s equity will rub off on to the licensee’s Brand. With the Barbie brand scores above, it is clear that there is substantial equity in the Barbie brand.

As described, a :30 television commercial for Chevrolet’s Blazer EV SUV ran incorporating actual scenes from the movie. The spot actually begins with the copy, “one legendary icon deserves another.” Chevy was both an IP partner and a product integration partner.

However, of the Chevrolet U.S. television commercials measured by ABX over the twelve months from July 2022 through July 2023, Chevy’s Barbie ad ranked last on overall ABX Index. Its 95 ABX Index was behind the Auto category average of 102 and behind the September 2022 launch of the Chevy Equinox EV with a 126 ABX Index.

Chevy Barbie Blazer EV SUV :30 TV to view video

Chevy Barbie Blazer EV SUV :30 TV

Chevy Equinox EV launch :30 TV to view video

Interestingly, when we look at metrics one would anticipate benefiting from the Barbie association, lift did not occur. Specifically, comparing the Chevy Barbie TV ad to the Equinox EV launch ad, the Barbie TV ad did significantly worse on Reputation and did not enhance the GEI™ score. This is despite the fact the Barbie ad features a diverse trio of actresses from the movie (Margot Robbie, America Ferrera, and Ariana Greenblatt) throughout the ad, while the Equinox TV ad only shows an average woman charging the vehicle for :02 seconds of the :30 commercial.

The above Chevy Barbie TV ad was tested after the movie’s opening and scores are against the general population overall. However, if we look at the scores by different demographics, the ad did do better among specific populations.

  • Gen Pop ABX Index is 95
  • Hispanics ABX index is 103
  • HH with Children Under 18 ABX Index is 116
  • Within Age by Gender, Men 35-54 ABX Index is 122

Note: Men 35-54 is the segment with highest ABX scores for all Chevy ads, Barbie did not impact that trend.

To understand what is driving these scores, ABX looked at verbatims. The verbatims show us foremost how careful an advertiser needs to be with co-branding. Several respondents reported on their Barbie™ and Barbie movie feelings not with their comments about the Chevy vehicle: “Liked the movie. Ad reminded me how good the movie was”; “Liked Barbie movie, ha,ha” or “Hate Barbie. Wrong association.” and “Barbie is a horrible person.” Generally, the over 55+ year-old responses were the most negative. An overall take-away from the verbatims is that the ad does not stand on its own as a strong Chevy Blazer EV message enhanced by Barbie. Many were confused by the brands’ mash-up. From the verbatims the ad appears less successful among those who have not seen the movie.

Importantly, among the audience most responsive to Chevy ads overall – M35-54, their love of Chevy outweighed the Barbie connection with comments like, “Love the vehicle and it’s design,” and “like the brand of car in the ad”.

Earlier we noted the higher ABX Index of 103 among Hispanics and we were interested in whether America Ferrera playing a leading character may have been responsible for that boost. However, the Hispanic actress had no mentions in the verbatims and the Hispanic/Spanish group was the most polarized vs. other demographic breaks. The majority of Hispanic/Spanish ratings were either excellent or poor. Comments spread from “I have been looking at this vehicle since the movie came out” and “Super fun and clear the ad was for Chevy Blazer” to “The ad was muddled. An EV SUV is interesting but Barbie is all that stuck in my mind” and “talk about piggybacking, yuck.”


Does this mean the Barbie license did not work for Chevrolet? NO!

What this analysis does is reinforce the value of creative pre- and post- testing. While a simplistic take-away might be that Barbie just doesn’t translate to a family SUV. A deeper analysis indicates that the Chevy Barbie ad did not say enough about the car itself.

More likely, it means that Chevrolet could have made more effective use of the license in its advertising. It is always a difficult creative challenge to combine brands. How is the whole better than the sum of the parts? We do not know what creative restrictions Mattel and Warner Bros. placed on Chevrolet. However, some creative recommendations from the analysis could be:

  • The ad shows a scene from the movie, but those who have not seen the movie may not know why Margo Robbie is diving into the back seat. It is not a scene that plays well out of context.
  • In the movie, the Chevy Blazer EV outruns the bad guys. Speed and pick-up is a consumer concern for EV’s overall. “WOW Mode – 0-60 in under 4 seconds” was displayed as a product benefit. But, many people could have missed this product benefit because it only had approximately :03 seconds of airtime. Perhaps the airtime could have been extended. That scene could have also been extended to include additional product benefits, versus a superfluous earlier scene of Ken.
  • The ad shows movie scenes but makes no direct endorsement. In fact, the blue Blazer EV SUV is the car of the Hispanic mom character played by America Ferrera, not Barbie. Perhaps an endorsement by the actress saying I drove this car on set and liked it so much I bought one for myself would have had more creative impact.

At the start of the Barbie movie, the narrator says, “Barbie has a great day every day, but Ken only has a great day if Barbie looks at him.” It appears from a creative effectiveness standpoint that sentiment is true for Warner Bros. and Mattel versus their licensees. For Warner Bros. and Mattel, since the movie opened, every day has been a great day. However, for partners adding Barbie to their advertising, the licensee has to be very careful with their advertising to avoid having more of a “Ken” experience.

Appendix A

Selection of the 100’s of Barbie IP partners in 2023

Food and Beverage

  • Burger King
  • PROPER Snacks
  • Pops Corn
  • Pinkberry (Kahala Brands)
  • Swoon
  • Cold Stone Creamery (Kahala Brands)
  • Hellmann’s (Unilever)
  • Wunder Garten


  • Zara (Inditex) 
  • ALDO (Aldo Group)
  • MeUndies
  • Gap
  • Forever 21 (Authentic Brands Group) 
  • Fossil
  • Superga (BasicNet)
  • Crocs
  • Boohoo
  • Barefoot Dreams
  • Cotton On (Cotton On Group)
  • Rue21
  • PacSun
  • Show Me Your Mumu
  • Loungefly
  • Kipling (VF Corporation)
  • Primark
  • Hybrid Apparel
  • Hot Topic
  • Alex and Ani
  • Birkenstock (not paid)
  • Prada
  • Amazon


  • General Motors
    • Chevrolet Corvette
    • Chevrolet Blazer
    • Chevy Tahoe
    • Chevy Suburban
    • GMC Hummer

Beauty and Wellness

  • OPI (Coty)
  • CHI
  • Kitsch
  • NYX (L’Oréal)
  • Truly Beauty
  • Tangle Teezer
  • MOON Oral Care
  • Ulta Beauty
  • Hally


  • Ruggable
  • Homesick
  • Joybird


  • Progressive Insurance
  • Regal Cinemas
  • Xbox (Microsoft)
  • Architectural Digest (Condé Nast)
  • Impala Skates
  • Google
  • HGTV (Warner Bros. Discovery)
  • Not On The High Street
  • Airbnb
  • Canada Pooch
  • Montegrappa (Tibaldi & Company) 
  • Funko
  • Béis
  • Spirit Halloween

Jeff Schamel

Vice President, Operations

Jeff Schamel Directs Operations for ABX with Experience from IPSOS and P&G

Jeff has more than 25 years of market research experience including project management, client service, operations, production and sales.

Before joining the ABX Senior Management team, Jeff was a Senior Account Manager at Ipsos, working with Procter & Gamble and other client assignments. Prior to that, he was Senior Project Manager for Opinion One, where he was responsible for guiding the company’s online, mall and other initiatives for eight years.

Jeff began his market research career with Cooper Research while participating in the Professional Practice Program at the University of Cincinnati, Ohio. Upon graduating with his BS in Marketing and Management, Jeff led a team of data analysts as Group Manager at Matrixx Marketing Research (now Concentrix).

Jeff’s broad in-depth marketing research experiences enable him to bring a unique perspective to directing operations that creates effective and efficient environments to support a wide range of client activities.  Having come up in the industry alongside the advent and progression of online interviewing, he has a unique perspective on the benefits and challenges of conducting quality research resulting in meaningful results.

Jeff considers himself an amateur music historian and sports enthusiast, as well as a family man, who takes advantage of the many outdoor activities in his community including biking, hiking, kayaking and swimming.

Dr. Peter Moomaw

Co-Founder, Vice President, Development

Peter is the primary developer of operations technology and data analysis. As a chief visionary on the Research and Development team, Peter works to generate innovative ideas for the continued development of processes and protocols.

Peter brings 17+ years’ experience in software development in the market research industry. He was previously at Opinion One, where he was integral in the development of research software systems covering a number of areas.

Peter has a BA in Mathematics, a BS in Physics, and a PhD in Physics, all from the University Cincinnati.

Martin Geraghty
Martin Geraghty

Vice President, Client Services

Geraghty Brings Experience from Roper Starch, GfK, MRI and IPSOS to ABX

Martin has more than 20 years of experience in the market research space including business development, methodology, product design, operations, client service, analysis and sales. He is a member the ABX Management Group with both client-service and operational responsibilities. Before joining ABX, Martin held senior management positions at Roper Starch Worldwide, GfK, MRI (Mediamark Research) and Ipsos. At Ipsos, he managed client service covering all aspects of the research process including research design. He managed the development and implementation of several brand and advertising measurement programs across a broad range of business sectors, helping clients maximize marketing objectives and return on investment. Prior to joining Ipsos, Martin was Vice President at MRI and was involved in business development, day-to-day management and long-term planning and growth for syndicated and custom programs. He also developed and updated the organization’s operational infrastructure to bring new and improved measurements to the marketplace. Before joining MRI, Martin was a Vice President of Operations at GfK. He managed researchers developing programs to monitor and improve methodologies. He played a key role in overseeing profit responsibility of client programs. Prior to his role at GfK, he was Vice President of Research and Operations at Roper Starch Worldwide.
Michael Alf

Co-Founder Ocucom and ABX, Vice President, Software Development

Michael Alf Brings 12 Years’ Software Engineering in the Market Research Industry

Michael is one Founders of Ocucom, of which ABX is a division, and has over 12 years’ of software engineering experience in the market research industry. As a Lead Software Engineer with Ocucom, he brings a unique blend of a technological background along with hands-on market research experience. Michael specializes in providing custom software solutions utilizing Ocucom’s dynamic software platform to address unique client needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Prior to starting with Ocucom, Michael was a senior software engineer at Opinion One in Cincinnati, where he was one of the principal architects of the OASIS 2 Survey Software Package. He also played a key role in developing a licensable solution to bring to the market place as well as handling the logistics of on-site training and support of end-client users.

Michael obtained his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Cincinnati.

Greg Tunstill

Co-Founder, Chief Information Officer

Greg Tunstill Leads the Creation of ABX Communications Tools

Greg Tunstill, a founder of ABX, is the Chief Information Officer responsible for ABX’s technical infrastructure and maintenance. He also leads the design and development of ABX’s communications tools, a critical component of its technology services.

Prior to joining ABX, Greg was Director of Network Operations of Opinion One since its inception in 1992. He designed and developed the communications systems that were the core of its data collection networks and was responsible for continuing development and implementation of information technologies. Prior to his position at Opinion One, he designed inventory control and expert systems for BellSouth field offices and worked as a consultant and independent contractor. In 1991 he joined Americom Research as a systems engineer where he advanced to Director of Network Operations and met members of the team that formed Opinion One.

Greg is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

Julian Brown

Chief Technology Officer

Julian Brown is an ABX Founder and Chief Visionary for Strategic Planning

Julian brings 20+ years of software engineering and market research experience to ABX. As one of the Founders and in his position as Chief Technology Officer, Julian is the chief visionary responsible for strategic planning and development.

His primary day to day roles include management of software development, oversight of survey production, and lead architect for custom software development projects. As the principal technology architect, Julian adapts emerging technologies for use in market research. He is responsible for maintaining the “continuous development” philosophy.

Before becoming one of the Founders, Julian was Vice President, Software Engineering at Opinion One. In this capacity, he was responsible for the design and development of Opinion One’s core technology and licensing products.

Prior to Opinion One, Julian worked for Americom Research, starting as a Software Engineer and progressing to Director, Software Development. While at Americom Research, Julian pioneered the design and creation of one of the market research industry’s first fully interactive computer-aided interviewing suites.

Julian received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Middle Tennessee State University.

Gary Getto


A Pioneer in Measuring Across all Media Types

Gary has an extensive background in product development, strategic planning, and sales/marketing. He is a frequent speaker to the advertising, marketing, and public relations communities.

Gary is a pioneer in efforts to measure and analyze the combined impact of news coverage, social media, and advertising communications on key business metrics, such as sales or product preferences, with ground-breaking work linking communications activity to business outcomes. He was also one of the first to apply artificial intelligence to better understand how communications impacts consumer behavior.

As part of these pioneering integrated measurements, the need to benchmark every ad and build a comprehensive database of advertising performance metrics for evaluating all advertising creative became clear. Gary has been part of the ABX management group that developed the methodology, technology, and criteria for measuring advertising performance globally, and at scale, in an affordable manner. 

Now Gary and all ABX partners work with communications leaders across a diverse set of industries to expand that understanding by incorporating the first-ever Gender Equality Index™, creative measurement solutions for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out-of-country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit™, Gaming, Audio and more.

Gary holds a B.S., in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Masters in Management Science from Stevens Institute of Technology.

J. J. Klein​

Chairman & CEO

Developing Valid and Reliable Information through Syndicated and Custom Research

JJ Klein has devoted his entire career to developing more valid and reliable information through syndicated and custom longitudinal research programs for Fortune 500 companies. This extensive knowledge base enabled him to create and develop ABX, which now offers the most accurate normative database for advertising effectiveness measurement in the marketplace.

JJ brings more than 35 years of marketing, research, consulting, and technology experience in designing and developing methodologies and programs for long-term growth. He has exceptional strength in domestic and international new business development, strategic planning, and identifying and tracking consumer, retail, and industry trends.

Leadership in Top Global Research Firms

Early in his career, after attending City University in New York as a math and science major, JJ joined Simmons Market Research Bureau as a Project Director. Over time, he rose to Associate Executive Vice President. Among his accomplishments, JJ created the first online interactive data analysis and delivery system for agencies, media, institutions, client, and service companies.  

JJ and Bill Simmons then founded a new venture …Three Sigma Research Center. It was here that JJ, Chief Operating Officer, created the first major syndicated rating system for Newspapers in the U.S., which later became the Scarborough Report. Three Sigma Research was eventually sold back to Simmons; Simmons sold it to Scarborough; and then Scarborough was acquired by Nielsen.

Following the sale of Three Sigma, JJ joined Audits & Surveys Worldwide as a principal leading the sales tracking and market share audits for a broad range of retail and service establishments both domestically and internationally. Following the acquisition of Audits & Surveys by GfK, JJ joined Roper Starch as Executive Director, reporting directly to the Chairman.

Creation and Development of Ocucom™ and ABX™

In 2004, as he continued his industry visionary travels, all of JJ’s experience came together as he tackled new solutions for market research in the Internet age. He and four partners founded Ocucom™ and invented a research-proven, respondent-oriented Ocular™ approach to internet sampling and multi-modal interviewing methodology. For the first time, respondents could answer text-based questions within a visual communication world where the computer screen was the interviewer/communicator. Inventions continued such as Ocucom’s PreCast™, the first long-form video viewing solution in the industry.

Also, during this time, JJ’s early leadership in internet research methodology caught the eye of top-tier global research competitors. He ended up designing methodologies for their online survey capabilities.

Then, in early 2012, he formed ABX™ as an outgrowth of Ocucom. JJ had conceived the idea for ABX some 15 years prior but had to wait for internet maturation and online panel/sampling companies to evolve. ABX partners focused on JJ’s ABX concept and methodology by building an infrastructure and a 5-year formative database before opening to the market in 2018. The new company offered the first high-quality Ocular research system for all ads in all media types with detailed, never-before analytics; the first syndicated, all-media type ad effectiveness platform; results in 24-to-48 hours on dashboard, and significantly lower costs. At ABX, as at Ocucom, inventions have continued such as the expansion of the ABX syndicated program into the first-ever global solution, and the first Gender Equality Index™. Solutions have expanded to include creative measurement for ESG, Diversity & Inclusion, Ethnicities (in and out of country), Product Placement/Integration, Brand Fit, Gaming, Audio, and more.

A Career Devoted to Validity and Reliability in Market Research

JJ’s background brings together an extremely unique blend of extensive experience in designing and developing global and regional longitudinal research programs. His accomplishments include the design and initiation of programs and methods that produce more valid and reliable information. They also include contributions to the market research profession through association membership, speaking, writing, and presenting.

Like Nielsen for TV, Arbitron for Radio, and MRI for Magazine, JJ’s original design for the newspaper program continues as the Scarborough Report ratings standard for Newspaper.  Today, JJ leads ABX as a syndicated and custom research service for ad effectiveness and gender equality, which have quickly become the gold standards of their own.

Angela Jeffrey, APR

Vice President, Brand Management

National Award-Winning Veteran of Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing

Angela is an internationally known speaker and national award-winning veteran of public relations, advertising and marketing.  She has been a teacher and leader in the use of metrics to measure communications impact for over 20 years, especially at the intersection of PR and Advertising.

Angela is primarily responsible for all ABX marketing efforts, and for projects that involve PR or social media measurement. She is the primary driver of our collaboration with the prestigious Institute for Public Relations as we develop methods to measure the impact of PR and social media on advertising effectiveness.

Prior to joining ABX, Angela was Strategy Director at Salience Insight, (now CARMA), a global provider of PR effectiveness measurement. Previously, she was a Vice President at Surveillance Data, Inc., an international analytics powerhouse that specializes in predictive modeling. Angela continued as a key leader upon the sale of her division to VMS and helped develop Vantage, with Gary Getto, the first platform to measure the combined impact of PR and Advertising.

Angela graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Journalism and BBA in Marketing.



Diane Light Waight

Vice President, Business Development

Diane Light Waight handles Sales, Business Development, and Marketing for ABX

Diane has 20+ years of experience helping Marketing, Advertising, and PR decision-makers at global brands, media companies, and agencies increase their ROI by connecting and authentically engaging their target customers through Sales, Business Development. MarTech, AdTech, Big Data, Market Research, SaaS, eCommerce, and Integrated Marketing.

She is passionate about her family, entertainment, health & wellness, empowering women, and environmental sustainability.