Known for his obnoxious and crude sense of humor, Deadpool is a hero fans can’t get enough of. Wade Wilson, the man behind the suit, hates pretty much everything. He also refuses to work alongside the X-Men because of his lone wolf personality. Though Deadpool literally despises the idea of being a hero, his debut film stands as the second highest grossing R-rated film of all time. This proves that not all heroes need a clean image to be victorious.
So how did this “superhero” make $783.1 million at the box office? From an absurd marketing campaign that intrigued audiences to go see the film, that’s how! The marketers behind the first Deadpool film used some unusual tactics. Such as creating a Deadpool tinder account and even posting ridiculous billboard ads that marketed the film as a love story.
The marketing campaign for the first film consisted of doing the opposite of typical movie campaigns. Instead of posting PG-13 content, marketers integrated Deadpool’s raunchy R-rated nature into everything they posted. Social media was filled with Deadpool emojis, funny photoshopped images, and of course the use of actor Ryan Reynolds. Through Reynolds social media accounts he releases Deadpool centered GIFs and videos that make anyone with a good sense of humor laugh.
After such a huge success, the marketing team behind the Deadpool films had to figure out what to do next before the release of the second film on May 18, 2018. So far, the Deadpool 2 marketing campaign has caused a lot of buzz and follows the same laughable style used for the first film. With the release of the second film a couple weeks away, I’m taking a look at what tactics 20th Century Fox used for the Deadpool sequel.
The first teaser for Deadpool 2 premiered before the X-Man film, Logan. It starts with Wayne Wilson walking outside a dark theater when he hears a robbery. He pokes fun at Superman when he runs to a phone booth to change into his black and red hero suit. It wouldn’t be Deadpool if he didn’t struggle. In this case, it took Wilson almost a solid minute to get into his gear. The humor of this scene shows Deadpool’s silhouette figure struggling, even at one point pressing his butt cheeks against the door of the booth. Along with the Superman theme playing in the background, gunshots ensue and Deadpool dashes from the booth to save the day.
Ironically, Marvel creator Stan Lee stands outside the booth where he compliments Deadpool’s suit. As per Deadpool’s style, the hero yells “Zip it, Stan Lee!”. Unfortunately, Deadpool didn’t save the day, as the man getting robbed was killed. Just when we thought the teaser couldn’t get any more absurd, Deadpool lays next to the dead guy and starts eating his groceries. Deadpool also makes fun of Logan star Hugh Jackman’s Australian accent by mimicking him at the end of the teaser.
This trailer obviously has nothing to do with the plot of the sequel, but the tactic behind it was to create buzz. Which it definitely did!
The next teaser released for the second film is Deadpool’s reenactment of Bob Ross’s show The Joy of Painting. The 90s show focused on Ross teaching his oil painting techniques to audiences. This is where marketers took advantage of Ross’s fun personality and had Deadpool imitate him. The superhero sports Ross’s poofy afro and tucked in shirt along with washed out blue jeans. While talking about various sex jokes like “whacking off” his paintbrush, Deadpool “paints” magnificent pictures claiming to be “as high as a kite.” This is no surprise coming from the hero that uses vulgar language 95% of the time. All humor aside, the trailer cuts to scenes from the second movie but ends with Deadpool back in the painting studio.
On his canvas, we see a hilarious painting of what looks like a Thanksgiving feast between the villain Cable and various characters from the film. This unique idea was sure to make Deadpool fans laugh. Many fans have even posted their reactions to this trailer online, proving 20th Century Fox’s achievement with this tactic.
Yes, Deadpool even has teasers for his Portuguese speaking fans. This teaser actually doesn’t show any scenes from the second movie. Instead, it was shot to grab Brazilian’s fans attention.
In the teaser, we first see Deadpool relaxing in an armchair talking directly to Portuguese fans. Besides taunting Jared Leto for looking like Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer statue, he mentions that he’s been practicing his Portuguese. Deadpool claims to have spent “20 minutes on Google translate as well as countless hours watching telenovelas” to deliver a special message to fans. As suspected, Deadpool doesn’t deliver the message himself in Portuguese. Instead, a fluent Portuguese female voice over comes on while Deadpool pretends to talk.
Marketers created this specific teaser for the Brazilian Comic-Con event. Here they offered to give fans real Deadpool tattoos completely for free. At the end of the trailer, Deadpool in his regular sarcastic voice, tells the audience to follow a link (deadpooltattoo.com.br) to register. The meanings behind the four Deadpool styled tattoo designs are love, family, country pride, and prison.
This was a clever way for 20th Century Fox to connect with their international audience. As well as giving fans the opportunity to show their undying dedication to Deadpool by getting him permanently inked on their bodies.
One of the first trailers to reveal more about the film is titled “Meet Cable,” to introduce the film’s villain. The trailer starts off like any typical movie trailer showing action scenes. Then out of nowhere the trailer’s paused by Deadpool. The standstill scene shows Cable wearing a green sleeve on his arm that obviously hasn’t been CGI edited yet. Deadpool becomes angry and even makes a joke about how could it be so hard to CGI a metal arm. Especially since they “aren’t trying to remove a mustache,” making fun of Superman actor Henry Cavill’s poor CGI mustache removal in Justice League. The trailer then cuts to Deadpool acting out a scene with a toy setup referencing to Disney’s Toy Story. Deadpool places a toy version of himself dressed as Woody faced against another toy that looks like Cable. Finally, after the CGI work’s finished, the trailer starts up again with scenes from the film. We next see Deadpool’s humor towards the end of the trailer when he looks at the camera and mentions how one of Cable’s lines is “bad writing.” The abnormality and current day references in this trailer are what make Deadpool’s marketing so successful.
20th Century Fox released the final trailer before the film’s May 19th release date. Not only do we get a deeper look into the plot line, but also a glimpse at some hilarious scenes. After watching this trailer, I can say I am officially excited to see the film! The final trailer has already gained over 20 million views on YouTube. We learn that Deadpool forms a squad to defeat the enemy and learn about the team’s new secret weapon, Peter!
Besides the amusing trailers, Deadpool 2 marketers have promoted the film largely through social media. Based on Deadpool’s large follower count on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter people enjoy any posts related to the not so super hero. No matter how out of the ordinary the posts may be.
Let’s start by taking a look at Deadpool’s Facebook page. Besides posting the trailer and movie posters, most of the posts are just for laughs. Some of the photos vary from Deadpool eating a hot dog next to a picture of Betty White who is also eating a hot dog, to Deadpool putting Thanksgiving dinner in the oven. One of the latest posts was for Valentine’s day where marketers posted humorous V-day cards with pictures of some of the characters.
What better place is there to post Deadpool’s witty comebacks and thoughts than on Twitter? None! Some of Deadpool’s tweets center around current events, such as the Superbowl. Deadpool shared his thoughts on Justin Timberlake’s performance and even mentioned that he had to use the restroom right before the halftime show. Fans love these comical comments from the character. One of the best promotional accounts for Deadpool is Ryan Reynolds personal Twitter. An example is a photo of Deadpool painting a picture of Cable actor Josh Brolin as his early Goonies character for his birthday. Reynolds loves to post about his character not only to promote the film but show his continued dedication to the character.
What more can I say? Peter was the highlight and star of the final Deadpool trailer. The hilarious dad-like character has a perfectly trimmed mustache and tucked in button up shirt, joins Deadpool’s superstar team.
The internet immediately fell in love with this character. It was obvious that the Deadpool marketing team knew fans would too. That’s why they created a Twitter page just for him. Oh, and how could I forget to mention that Peter is even a verified Twitter user. That’s how popular he is!
Before the release of the final trailer, Ryan Reynolds put on a pink suit to tell cancer F-You. Literally, that’s the name of the campaign. Fans have a chance to win the specially designed pink suit by donating money to the cause. It’s a smart idea not only to market the film,but also help fight against something that affects people around the world. Whoever is chosen, gets to own this exclusive suit. If you see someone walking around on the street dressed as a pink Deadpool, you’ll know who won.
Yep, that’s right! Celine Dion actually wrote a song for Deadpool 2 and it’s heartwarming ballad seems all too odd for Deadpool. That’s where the genius marketers took advantage of Celine’s touching song and added Deadpool’s comedy.
Celine is videoed singing to an empty theater while ashes fall down around here, and of course with Deadpool dancing the background. Not only is he dancing like a pro, but doing it all in high heels. Though I’m not 100% sure if Ryan Reynolds could pull off these stellar moves in stilettos, I am sure it was an excellent idea. The video is currently #1 on YouTube’s trending page and has received over 5 million views after only 1 day. Another ball in the basket for 20th Century Fox if I say so myself.
20th Century Fox has created another promising campaign for Deadpool 2. Fans can’t get enough of the content marketers have been releasing for the film. The idea of centering the campaign around Deadpool’s personality is what fans love.
If I had to pick a favorite out of all the promotional tactics released, I’d have to say it’s a tie between the Wet On Wet teaser and Peter’s social accounts. Let me know which ones are your favorite!
The tactics used for the campaign sure worked on me! That’s why I would give this marketing campaign a solid 10 out of 10 stars. Not only is every ad funny, but creative enough to make everyone interested in seeing the film. We will see what else Deadpool 2 marketers release over the next 2 weeks before the highly anticipated May 18th premiere.