AUSTIN (KXAN) — The iconic “I love you so much” mural on South Congress Avenue in Austin, Texas, is becoming an even bigger draw for selfies after an update professes the love of one legendary toy to another.
The mural, which is located on the north-facing wall of Jo’s Coffee at the corner of South Congress and West James Street, now reads, “Barbie, I love you so much. -Ken.” This sweetly destructive defacement is only temporary because it’s part of a push to promote the hotly-anticipated release of the “Barbie” movie on July 21.
The film, directed by Greta Gerwig, stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Barbie and Ken respectively. In the movie, the two dolls leave the imaginary Barbie Land to experience what the real world is like. The studio behind it, Warner Bros. Pictures, is on a marketing blitz that now includes a few stunts in the Texas capital.
On Friday morning, people gathered to watch an unveiling and see the changes Ken made to the “I love you so much” mural. Dancers from Melody DanceFit, a local female-owned dance company, also performed a special routine inspired by the upcoming movie.
The mural update was done in partnership with Jo’s Coffee and paid for by Bunkhouse. Austin artist Joe Hermosa worked on the update. In March, Hermosa worked on a mural near Sixth Street and Interstate 35 featuring an Austin skyline and Madonna lyrics, according to his Instagram.
This is not the first alteration made to the renowned mural and its simple message.
Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, Jo’s Coffee partnered with the League of Women Voters to make the mural read “I love voting so much” as an eye-catching reminder for people to cast a ballot.
Neighbors and visitors don’t have too long, though, to stop by and take photos of Ken’s declaration of love for Barbie. It will only stay up until Monday. However, people can see another large-scale promotion for the film by watching the Austin skyline.
Starting at about 9 p.m. Friday, the top of the Fairmont Austin downtown will light up pink in honor of the “Barbie” movie. The hotel will also host a Barbie-themed event with corresponding cocktails at 5 p.m. at Rules & Regs on the seventh floor.
Elsewhere in the U.S., another one of the promo stunts included the creation of an actual Malibu Barbie Dream House along the California coast. Airbnb revealed guests could sign up to stay at the life-sized dollhouse for free as part of a promotion by Mattel. Crocs also released some Barbie-themed shoes ahead of the movie’s release.