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.)
“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.
French twitter losing its mind right now because they translated the Barbie poster literally and accidentally made a pun that reads ‘She knows how to do everything. He just knows how to f*ck.’ https://t.co/jGSgJIrr3FJune 16, 2023
Well, I'm impressed. The french version of the Barbie movie poster has resulted in me learning not one but two french swear words.Including one that my french wife didn't know.However, that one, my son did. pic.twitter.com/BakUig8n6aJune 19, 2023
French Twitter broke the Barbie poster 🤣 somehow someone has translated the Ken portion incorrectly as "he just knows how to fuck" because Ken in Fremch is slang for "sex/fuck" and "c'est" sounds like "sait" which translates to "knows"🤦♀️ internet never fails to amuse me 🤣 https://t.co/ziuVrQRw83June 17, 2023
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.