ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

Welcome to Moviepilot's Marketing Spotlight, our weekly look at which marketing campaigns are doing it right. In the world of entertainment, the marketing of a movie or TV series can be as important as the production itself. A good promo campaign can mean the difference between a hit and a flop, but a putting together a smart campaign is harder than it looks.

Here are the great pieces of marketing from this past week, February 1-7.

Deadpool (Fox)

It's Deadpool's world right now. We're just living in it. I could devote an entire article to the marketing of this movie (and I will), but I'll just focus on its Super Bowl-related marketing. The hype for this film is in overdrive right now; Deadpool has popped up everywhere from Tinder to Porn Hub to the Super Bowl.

The marketing campaign has done an excellent job of being as zany, unpredictable, and ubiquitous as its titular character. It's a testament that the most traditional tactic they relied on was to run a TV spot during the big game, though it came complete with Wade Wilson breaking the 4th wall and speaking directly to viewers.

But they weren't about to stop there: The Deadpool team deciding to do its press junkets in San Francisco last week and not Los Angeles was an entirely strategic decision on their part. Ryan Reynolds (presumably suited up in character as Deadpool) busied himself handing out chimichangas around San Francisco, which was in a frenzy hosting the Super Bowl. What better way to show you're the most entertaining movie of the year by pulling a stunt like that around the biggest television event of every year?

This week, five different Viacom channels are going to blast nothing but Deadpool TV spots during their commercial breaks for three hours straight. Overkill? Maybe. But not if you realize that most people skip straight through commercials now. Repetition is a chance for one more person to see one of the zany spots and be intrigued.

And it's working. The movie, which was previously tracking for a $55-60 million opening weekend has been bumped up to an $81 million opening weekend, at least according to Pro Box Office.

Deadpool is in theaters on Friday, February 12.

Zoolander 2 (Paramount)

If there's any movie this weekend that can take a bite out of Deadpool's considerable box office haul, it will be Zoolander 2. The first film, like most of Ben Stiller's comedies, was a hit, generating the kind of endless quotability normally reserved for cult classics.

The marketing campaign has been great, brilliantly mimicking the fashion world while at the same time skewering it, with a great example being its TV spot masquerading as an ad for his new cologne "No.2." It perfectly captures the mystifyingly serious, overbearing tone of virtually every single fragrance commercial these days - at least, if they have a celebrity involved, such as Derek Zoolander.

We, too, would prefer our fragrance to come to us in the form of a crying cow centaur, and not, say, a gold-gilded Charlize Theron climbing a rope to nowhere, or a black-and-white Johnny Depp having a celebrity's vision quest in the desert.

With multiple trailers and even the print ads mimicking the haute couture advertising of the fashion world, the promo for Zoolander 2 has been a nice break from the repetitiveness that's common in movie marketing now. Hopefully, the movie is as funny as its marketing campaign. If it is, Zoolander 2 could be the comedy to beat this year.

Zoolander 2 is in theaters on Friday, February 12.

How to Be Single (Warner Bros.)

With Deadpool getting the majority of buzz and Zoolander 2 soaking up whatever's left, Warner Bros. comedy How To Be Single has gotten somewhat lost in the shuffle. But that's fine, as its campaign has mostly tailored itself to the female crowd that is interested in neither Deadpool's adrenaline-fueled violence nor Zoolander's brand of dumb, guy-centric humor.

To that end, the marketing has revolved squarely around Rebel Wilson, who has become beloved by female audiences everywhere (and quite a few men, as well) for her fantastic comedic timing and unwillingness to compromise who she is. While lead Dakota Johnson doesn't necessarily have the charisma or brand strength to win an audience over and get them into theater seats yet, the combination of Wilson, comedic powerhouse Leslie Mann, and Alison Brie, who isn't as well-known as the others but carries with her a fervent fan following thanks to her indie cred, means that this very well might be the movie that women flock to if they have no desire to see the other wide releases this weekend.

Female-led comedies are hot right now, proving to be both hilarious and successful at the box office in recent years. While it may not open as strong as, say, Spy or Pitch Perfect 2, How to Be Single looks to be a modest hit that grows legs as the audience that flocked to Deadpool and Zoolander 2 now turns its attention on the comedy.

How to Be Single is in theaters on Friday, February 12.


Latest from our Creators