Barbie premiere sees London turn pink

Published on: 13th July 2023

To mark the London premiere of Barbie, the capital saw activations such as pink buses, taxis, floodlit landmarks and a Doctor Who TARDIS.

The Barbie movie’s European premiere took place on Wednesday evening in London’s Leicester Square. Fans queued for hours from early on Wednesday morning to secure a wrist band for the ‘fan pen’ at the premiere. The lucky ones saw the stars of the film grace the pink carpet, including Margot Robbie dressed as 1960s Enchanted Evening Barbie in a custom Vivienne Westwood couture gown; Ryan Gosling, who plays Ken in the movie and director, Greta Gerwig.

They were joined by further members of the cast and a host of celebrities, many of whom had entered into the spirit of Barbie Land with their outfits, as had the watching fans.

Warner Bros. Pictures ensured many of the capital’s iconic buses and black cabs sported full wraps advertising the film, as well as displaying posters on billboards and at tube stations. To honour Barbie and Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa, a pink TARDIS appeared on the lawns by Tower Bridge. London’s landmarks were also lit up in pink on Wednesday evening  following the film’s premiere, including Nelson’s Column and the fountains in Trafalgar Square.

Further promotional activity includes a partnership with popcorn maker Proper Snacks to open a Barbie-themed pop-up store in East London where visitors can enjoy a free pack of popcorn and the opportunity to win (or buy) Barbie movie merchandise, nail art and tooth gems. The store will be open from July 20-23 at 148 Shoreditch High Street.

Images of Barbican tube station signs shared on social media suggested they had been converted to read “Barbie Can,” and the doll’s iconic pink convertible was spotted parked up by the London Eye. Even one of the city’s classic, traditionally red, phone boxes had turned pink.

“’Barbie’ is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year and we’re proud to be partnering with Visit London to create a unique cultural moment for the film: turning the city pink,” said Alexandra Lewis, SVP for marketing at Warner Bros. Discovery UK & Ireland, speaking to Variety. “We’re thrilled to be able to provide the general public with a chance to celebrate the film’s upcoming release in such a fun way and visit iconic landmarks in what will surely be a night to remember.”

Visit London CEO Laura Citron added: “Barbie is a global icon and we’re excited to partner with the upcoming movie, Barbie, to turn some of London’s iconic landmarks pink in her honour. With so much of the film shot locally at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and brought to life by a wealth of local creative talent who worked on the film, we’re proud to celebrate London’s role in what is sure to be one of the biggest films of the year.”

The Barbie movie opens in the UK on July 21st.

You can read our exclusive interview with Mattel’s Sanjay Luthra, on the ‘cultural moment’ that is the Barbie movie, here.



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