On a sunny July day in Los Angeles, Jaden Raymundo ’24 found himself at the Shrine Auditorium, ushering celebrities and influencers to one of the most highly-anticipated blockbuster events in recent memory—anticipation driven by the “marketing campaign of the year.”
With some estimates putting Barbie’s marketing budget at around $150 million dollars, the film’s unique and unexpected marketing campaign took the Internet by storm, including a Barbie Dream House AirBnB in Malibu and advertising tie-ins with companies ranging from Crocs to Progressive Insurance.
Standing on the pink carpet, Raymundo never would have imagined that his time at Santa Clara University would bring him to the world premiere of Barbie, but he says it prepared him for a career-changing marketing internship in the entertainment world.
Raymundo, who describes himself as a people-person, was initially drawn to Santa Clara for its nationally-ranked business program and quickly fell in love with marketing. “I like understanding how people work and I have this creative side too, so I feel like marketing was the best of both worlds.”
After two summers working as an intern at a small start-up and a non-profit, Raymundo began searching for new challenges—and found one. Warner Bros. Studios was looking for strategic marketing interns, and the SoCal resident heard the siren call of Hollywood.
“I love movies, so the entertainment industry appealed to me because I figured it would be easier for me to market products that I actually enjoy myself,” he says.
What put his application over the edge? He thinks it was his leadership experience in Barkada, SCU’s Filipino cultural club at the Multicultural Center. Raymundo served as the group’s co-chair as a junior and is currently the co-director of the group’s annual cultural show. Through his work, he gained a lot of hands-on project management experience and a unique perspective on community-building that became invaluable when he was eventually hired as the studio’s Theatrical Multicultural Marketing Intern.
“Our department’s job was to ensure that every Warner Bros. movie had campaign elements that would reach multicultural communities,” Raymundo explains. “We worked on everything that would be coming out in the next year from Dune: Part Two to The Color Purple.”
One of his favorite projects was working on Blue Beetle, which featured a primarily Latinx cast and the first Latinx DC superhero. For that project, Raymundo developed grassroots partnerships with Latinx small business owners, organizing meet-and-greets with the Blue Beetle director in communities with large Latinx or Hispanic populations, like Dallas, Austin, and Puerto Rico.
“I’m part-Mexican myself, so it was super impactful to have a hand in this project basically from start to end. Seeing the public’s reaction was super cool, and it was gratifying knowing what I was working on might help increase the chances of future minority representation on the big screen.”
Of course, he adds, the Barbie campaign was on a whole other level.
“I think part of what made Barbie’s marketing so explosive was how every different part of the company activated in full force for this film.”
For example, Raymundo recalls, Warner Bros. Studio’s parent company also owns HGTV, so they ran a Barbie Dream House feature on one of the channel’s most popular home makeover shows. There was also a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make Barbie pink so ubiquitous that just seeing the iconic color could evoke the movie—in fact, the color was used so much, it may have contributed to a nationwide shortage of pink paint.
“I learned so many creative ways to market something, and I can really see myself implementing these lessons in case studies for my degree or to market Barkada’s cultural show next April.”
Since wrapping up his internship, Raymundo has gone on to another glamorous learning opportunity. He’s completing a business study abroad program in Paris where he’s taking classes in digital marketing, luxury branding, and communications.
“I also wanted to give myself a little bit of a challenge because I didn’t speak any French at all before this trip or know anyone from my group. Seeing how fast I have caught on and excelled makes me feel more confident about chasing my ambitions after graduation.”