Just when we thought that life could not get any better for superhero movie fans, Deadpool and 20th Century Fox might be treating us to the best film marketing campaign in the history of cinema. It seems like, almost weekly, the Merc with a Mouth is up to something clever and humorous to celebrate the upcoming film.
Deadpool might be the perfect character to advertise for, because, due to his infamous fourth wall breaking, the marketing team can make stunts that appear as though the character himself is crafting them. Every billboard, commercial, and Instagram photo is a new opportunity for the Ryan Reynolds character to shine and promote the upcoming movie. This list celebrates the absolute best from this brilliant marketing campaign that we have been enjoying for the past year or so.
Here are the 10 Best Deadpool Marketing Stunts.
10. IMAX Announcement
Deadpool‘s IMAX trailer gives fans just about everything that one would expect from a preview featuring the Merc with a Mouth. Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool starts the announcement by breaking the fourth wall and talking about chimichangas and quickly turns to witty remarks and extreme violence.
This announcement-turned-trailer is perhaps more brilliant than it appears at first glance. In a 30 second preview for the film, moviegoers, especially those unfamiliar with the character, get a sense of the humor, the action, the genre, and the tone – all while staying true to the superhero character that comic book fans are familiar with.
9. “Skull – Poop – ‘L'” Billboard
Just 29 days til, "Skull Poop L"! pic.twitter.com/Ktpo6eUPAp— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) January 14, 2016
The Deadpool marketing team is really capitalizing on the adolescent humor that, while perhaps waits dormant in the more adult audience, is absolutely, captivatingly hilarious. What the marketing team for this film has really captured is the true essence of this character.
The most brilliant part of this campaign is perhaps the idea behind it all that Deadpool himself could have created these advertisements. Advertising like this suggests that the studio “gets” the appeal of a character like Deadpool, and that they’re not going to water down his quirky humor for the sake of a larger audience.
8. Deadpool Instagram
Bearskin rugs, candid bathroom photos, short promotional, fourth wall breaking videos, and Deadpool delivering a baby are just a few things that fans can enjoy on the film’s Instagram page.
Whether you are trying to stay up to date with Deadpool related news, or if you are just looking for a good laugh, the movie’s Instagram has you covered. Again, it feels as if the character of Deadpool had an Instagram account, these are the types of pictures that he would post. At every step, this social media account encapsulates the marketing campaign for the upcoming superhero film.
7. “How Deadpool Spent Halloween” Viral Video
This viral marketing campaign has not been afraid to think outside of the box, and it shows with the “How Deadpool Spent Halloween” YouTube video. Featuring Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool and a handful children dressed up as X-Men characters, this video offers fans a minute and a half of absolute hilarity.
Referencing how the character has been wronged in the past by 20th Century Fox and how Deadpool has yet to become a pop culture icon in his own right, this video in and of itself breaks the fourth wall and becomes super meta and self-referential – everything that moviegoers can expect from the film in the coming weeks.
6. Valentine’s Day Billboard
Taking advantage of the Valentine’s Day marketing, this billboard works on multiple levels. Coming out only a couple of days before the lover’s holiday, Deadpool takes advantage of the “dinner and a movie” cliché by making the R-rated superhero film out to be a romantic date film.
With a few billboards available for the viewing pleasure of the general public on the streets of New York and Los Angeles, this arguably has to be the best one. This marketing campaign has proven time and time again that it will use any and all devices at its disposal to get people excited for this film, and it appears that it most certainly working.
5. Deadpool Hijacks Fantastic 4 Extended Trailer
So, the Fantastic 4 summer film was a disappointment for the majority of viewing audiences (out of the small handful of moviegoers that actually paid to see it), but that did not stop Deadpool from hijacking the trailer of the fellow team of heroes currently controlled on the big screen by 20th Century Fox.
Before a majority non-comic book moviegoers really became aware of who this Deadpool guy actually was, the marketing team made it apparent that he had absolutely no boundaries. A trailer for a trailer might be just about the most meta thing ever, and it is perfectly fitting for the Merc with a Mouth.
4. Surprise Screenings
This is how I just spent my afternoon! OFFICIALLY ONE OF MY FAVORITE MARVEL MOVIES OF ALL TIME. SO GOOD! pic.twitter.com/6bMTVusfGi— Nadeshot (@Nadeshot) January 19, 2016
This is perhaps more a feel good story than a marketing stunt, but it works on both levels. Deadpool and 20th Century Fox decided to reward fans by offering a surprise screening and advertising it as a fan get-together with a few clips and perhaps a few giveaways.
Fans got more than they bargained for when they found out that they were getting an opportunity to see the film weeks early, and were even more shocked to find out that Ryan Reynolds was actually in attendance (at least for a handful of the screenings). Even better than this story, the word coming out of these surprise screenings that the film is, in fact, really good.
3. April Fool’s Day Rating Announcement
When the Deadpool film was announced, many fans were concerned that censoring The Merc with the Mouth, by giving the film a PG-13 rating, would hinder the movie and fail to stay true to the spirit of the comic. Flash forward to April 1st of 2015, aka April Fool’s Day, and Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool has some news for fans.
Disguising the announcement as an episode of Extra with Mario Lopez, Ryan Reynolds and 20th Century Fox pull the ultimate prank on comic book fans: Deadpool will be rated PG-13. Viewers learn by the end of this video that this was in fact a joke and the movie will actually be rated R. Also, “Slater can’t hurt you anymore.”
2. 12 Days of Deadpool
Perhaps no greater gift was given to superhero fans this Holiday season than the “12 Days of Deadpool” marketing campaign. Leading up to Christmas Day, and the second full-length trailer, Deadpool and 20th Century Fox released a new promotional item each day.
Over the 12 days, fans were treated to promotion posters (“Wait ‘Til You Get a Load of Me”), theater standees, more clever Instagram pictures, and a Christmas Eve television spot. Each of the 12 days was a humorous reminder of the upcoming Deadpool film.
1. Leaked Footage
Of course, at number one is the leaked footage that started it all. When this footage finally reached fans across the web (like us), the uproar for a true-to-form Deadpool movie was so loud that 20th Century Fox could not help but take notice.
The footage captured the essence of the character and was endlessly entertaining and hilarious. This scene was so good, in fact, that the studio felt the need to, thankfully, recreate it in the film. Again, this clip feature everything that moviegoers should come to expect from the Deadpool character: fourth wall breaking, clever and hilarious remarks, and of course, tons of violence. It isn’t strictly “marketing” material, however, but it got us more interested than anything else on this list!
Do you agree with the list? What were some of your favorite moments of the Deadpool marketing campaign? Maker sure to let us know in the comments below.