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.

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.

Three Billboards Makes America Great Again

“Three Billboards” is polished and impressive “small film” about a grieving mother and her escalating attempts to humiliate a small-town police chief into solving the murder of her teenage daughter. Frances McDormand plays the mom, Mildred Hayes, and the billboards in Ebbing are the site of her campaign. I enjoyed the film, especially Mildred’s rude fierceness. The movie’s also done incredibly well for itself – a small haul of Golden Globes and an Oscar Best Actress for McDormand herself, and Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell playing a particularly racist and homophobic cop.

But, but, the movie’s not been without its detractors and indeed there’s been something of a backlash against the film. In particular, critics have objected to the casual care with which Rockwell’s character is treated given his evident vileness, as well as his shot of redemption at the end. As Wesley Morris suggests in the NYT “This Is Not America.”

The title and location of Three Billboards makes it seem like the movie is saying something grand about human nature in small-town America. But none of it rings true……“Three Billboards” is a cupcake rolled in glass. It all just feels off.

I think there’s stuff that could be said here about “it’s a fiction, not a documentary” and “it does not have to be about anything to be a great piece of entertainment”. But the more I thought about this overnight, the more I came up with this: Continue reading “Three Billboards Makes America Great Again”

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.