Deadpool 2 Transmedia Marketing (is awesome)

Fast Company provides an awesome summary of the whacky transmedia Marketing machine for Deadpool 2. I just love all this thinking-out-the-box stuff.

“What 20th Century Fox and Ryan Reynolds did was lean into what worked last time, while expanding ever so slightly into newer, less familiar areas. Like a coloring contest. Or somehow convincing Good Housekeeping magazine to let Deadpool guest edit a holiday issue….plus.the ultimate film soundtrack formula for success (since ’97): a Celine Dion power ballad. Unexpected, sure, but with about 20 million views and bajillions more in earned media, it’s yet another shrewd move by the guy in red tights.

Perhaps the most obvious way Deadpool 2‘s marketing has expanded beyond its initial incarnation is with product marketing. Even there, though, the studio has managed to play it just weird enough to make even a blatant brand tie-in cash grab look like a clever joke. This is not Happy Meal territory. Here we meet Devour frozen sandwiches in what appears to be a middle-of-the-night munchies-induced fever dream, self-aware sell-out accusations and all.

Then there’s Mike’s Harder Lemonade, which goes the pretty traditional route of tie-in packaging, but then added a twist with two pop-up bar events in New York and L.A. that recreate Deadpool’s favorite watering hole, Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Girls. More impressive is the partnership with candy brand Trolli on a “tiny hands” edition of the gummies, a clever throwback to a memorable scene in the original…”

Star Trek, Beyond: Even the Big Guns Suck at Marketing

Over at ScyFy, Simon Pegg has been bemoaning the atrocious marketing job done for Star Trek Beyond. He’s particularly scathing about the trailer above.

…It used ‘Sabotage,’ which was our surprise moment in the end. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise, and they blew it in the first trailer, which really annoyed me. They also made the film look like a boneheaded action film. And they were scared, I think, of mentioning the 50th anniversary. It was fumbled as a thing; they didn’t know what to do with it, and it’s a real shame.

Now here’s a bigger shame: I didn’t even know there was a Star Trek Beyond, at least not as a stand-alone film. As far as I can tell from the series’ marketing to date, all of the new Star Trek movies are completely interchangeable, without any unique selling points, and all essentially one big recycled drama about the tense three-way between Kirk, Spock and Uhuru. Plus some “beam me ups” for good measure. And I had no inkling whatsoever that it was the series’ 50th anniversary.

So you see, sometimes even the Big Guns really suck at movie marketing.

Aquaman’s Missing Trailer Means it’s a Crap Film ….. Discuss.

One way that the major studios drum up audience interest in their “forthcoming attractions” is by dropping trailers of hotly awaited films to coincide with the actual release of actual hotly awaited films. This works in so far as it drives eyeballs, but on the other hand, the routine has set up something of a negative expectation amongst audiences; because if a trailer doesn’t drop like clockwork nine months before a film’s release, the rumor mill kicks into action with all sorts of concerns that the film in doomed doomed doomed. Scott Mendelson discusses the problematic trailer strategy with regard to Aquaman over at Forbes.

If Aquaman works on a primal “underwater Lord of the Rings” way, then there is zero incentive to release a too-early first teaser. If Aquaman stinks, then there is no reason to let the cat out of the bag…to appease a fan base that has become spoiled by early marketing campaigns…

Skyscraper: the sky’s the limit for Dwayne Johnson

Skyscraper is the year’s biggest “not based on anything” studio release, and the weight of its expectations is resting on the broad shoulders of its affable lead, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson is one of a tiny handful of modern-day movie stars able to front mid-to-big budget vehicles based on their perceived value to the audience moviegoer. And before Skyscraper, there’s Rampage, the movie trailer that got me thinking about our Dwayne this morning….

Love, Simon

Love, Simon is something of a first; a major Hollywood studio production that does not diminish or ignore the fact that it’s essentially a gay teen love story in its marketing materials. Just look at the cheeky billboards erected in LA to promote the movie. We-ho – West Hollywood – is obviously the city’s main gay district.

This was all part of a text-based “Dear [blank]” campaign, pulling in a narrative device from the film with customized billboard and bus stop promos specific to different film markets. A second Los Angeles area advertisement, for example, reads: “Dear WeHo, I’m done keeping my story straight.”

In New York, signs proclaim, “If I can come out here, I can come out anywhere.” Ads in the nation’s capital say, “Dear DC, You seem confused. Good thing I’m not.” Other cities with tailored messages include Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston and Dallas.

LA Times reports that Fox also created a postcard generator that allows users to create their own “Dear [blank]” graphics. The film’s official Twitter account used it to send words of encouragement to openly gay Olympians Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon.

So now all that’s left is to buy tickets to the film (so they get the message and make more movies like this…)

PS also check out the Dasani Water product placement in the top image.

Veronica and the Release Strategies

Two things. First: Veronica. It’s the latest from Paco Plaza, the Spanish writer-director responsible for the first two [REC] movies. It’s a solid, well-made horror telling the ostensibly true tale of a luckless 15 year old who invites something horrible in after an ill-advised ouija game. The ensuing drama plays out mostly in a small Madrid apartment, ramping up the conflicts bit by bit, to a suitably chaotic climax. I enjoyed it. It won’t win many accolades (except for the acting, which was great) and it was all-in-all a gripping enough way to spend 90 minutes. So far so good.

The second thing, and the main reason I mention this movie at all, is that Veronica was released direct to Netflix, with zero publicity and no fanfare. Yesterday, no Veronica, today; ta-da. Netflix would seem to be a odd release strategy for a movie maker; it seems to be a kind of marketing deadzone, an apologetic admittance of middling quality… Continue reading “Veronica and the Release Strategies”

What Oprah Did: The Marketing Onslaught for A Wrinkle In Time

From day one of production, Disney pulled out all the stops in promoting A Wrinkle in Time. The marketing enrolled the heavy-hitting social media reach of its’ stars to punt the film and its message of diversity; Winfrey reaches over 67M social media followers across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with Witherspoon counting 18.4M and Mindy Kaling north of 15M.

The entire cast worked tirelessly to engage their fanbase and promote the movie, including surprising fans at Disney California Adventure with a sneak peek of the film. There was a Warriors Who Code event in partnership with Facebook, Black Girls Code, Nissan, jetBlue and HP which hosted 50 young women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in a coding challenge to unlock prizes and an early viewing of A Wrinkle in Time, with surprise appearances by the cast. jetBlue sent out emails to its customers encouraging them to see the movie this weekend and announcing that the pic will play in flight as early as May 1. The soundtrack featured a song by Sade which was her first new track in seven years “Flower of the Universe.” There was the crowdfunding “Give a Child the Universe” Color of Change and AMC campaign to provide tickets to underprivileged kids. Questlove created the #WrinkleChallenge to encourage celebrities and followers to donate to the initiative. Bad Feminist author Roxanne Gay bought out two screenings at the ArcLight Culver City over the weekend. One of the most personal pushes for DuVernay was having her hometown of Compton, CA host the first public screening of A Wrinkle in Time. The city has no movie theaters, so Disney created a pop-up one with great sound and picture quality….

The full story at Deadline.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

Behold, the Force (as it) Awakens; drone footage of construction at Disneyland’s forthcoming “Star Wars Land…..”

“In Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, guests visit Batuu, a remote outpost on the galaxy’s edge was once a busy crossroads along the old sub-lightspeed trade routes, but its prominence was bypassed by the rise of hyperspace travel. Now home to those who prefer to stay out of the mainstream, it has become a thriving port for smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers traveling between the frontier and uncharted space….”

One of the Galaxy Edge signature thrills puts visitors in the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. Another – “built on a scale we’ve never done before,” – will make guests feel like they’re inside a hangar bay in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. And the Cantina will serve Luke Skywalker’s favorite, blue milk….

Awaken, Film Tourism behemoth.