That X-rated Barbie poster can't have been an accident

Barbie movie poster
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

Unless you've been living under a bright pink rock, you've probably heard that there's a new Barbie film on the way next month. Marketing for the Greta Gerwig-helmed movie is reaching fever pitch – and while there's clearly a knowing humour to the whole endeavour, a new French poster is proving particularly, um, risqué.

The new poster features Margot Robbie's Barbie and Ryan Gosling's Ken, along with a french translation of the now familiar tagline, "She's everything.... he's just Ken". But the translation itself takes things in a somewhat NSFW direction. (Looking for poster inspiration? Check out the best print ads of all time.)

Barbie French poster

(Image credit: Warner Bros)

 “Elle peut tout faire. Lui, c’est juste Ken," reads the French version of the tagline. But 'Ken', according to Hollywood Reporter, is a French colloquialism for a four-letter word that starts with 'F' and rhymes with 'duck'. So in French, the poster reads "She knows everything... he just knows how to fuck". And, predictably, French Twitter is finding it pretty hilarious.

See more
See more
See more

But while many news outlets are declaring that the poster has gone viral for all the wrong reasons, is this really out of character for the campaign? This is the film whose trailer features multiple characters threatening to "beach [one-another] off," so what's a little F-word pun, really?

My money's on deliberate. It's got people talking, which seems to be what the entire promo blitz is about – from those meme-worthy posters to the hilariously dissonant battle between Barbie and fellow July 21-er Oppenheimer.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Daniel Piper
Senior News Editor

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).