How Aquaman Corrected The DCEU's Marketing Mistakes

Aquaman Kept All Of Its Scenes

In line with keeping the marketing simple and honest (by keeping most, if not all, of the trailer scenes in the movie itself), Aquaman’s trailers play their cards close to their chest. The story isn’t completely revealed in three-minute bite-sized chunks. You actually go into the movie and get a few surprises. That seems like a silly point but in an age where publicity campaigns are all too quick to let every element of their film be shown to the public before anyone ever sets foot in a cinema, there’s something to be said about keeping your secrets.

Related: Every DCEU Movie Has Set Up Aquaman: Here's How

Contrast this with earlier DCEU films like Suicide Squad, Justice League, and even Batman V Superman, and the difference is stark. On top of watching watch film try to decide on its style and tone via trailers, major story moments are used so casually, as if the studio expects you to know every detail of the film upon viewing it for the first time. It can be tough to motivate apprehensive audiences to see your film when earlier reviews have been tepid, and it’s not made any easier when all the trailers give everything away.

How The DCEU's Marketing Can Improve Going Forward

The DCEU finally seems on solid ground after years of disarray and seemingly endless bad headlines. DC's public relations are in a good place, and they have three undeniable commercial successes under their belt that have helped to establish multiple characters who had never headlined major movies before. These are the kinds of foundations Warner Bros. will need to build upon going forward, with new franchises and even planned one-off movies like Joker.

Going forward, the smartest thing that Warner Bros. can do with its marketing is place trust in its audiences that they’ll like the product they’re actually offering them and not feel the need to dress it up as something it isn’t. Shazam! benefits from this, too. Like Aquaman, it’s a knowingly silly concept for a movie but the marketing happily leans into that and has fun with it. It never tries to make it seem darker or more important than its already central gimmick of “Big with superheroes.” Of course, it helps when the films themselves are good and haven’t been through months of public scrutiny and press reports. In this area, Aquaman had a leg up over other DCEU movies, and that clearly benefited it. However, Aquaman was also a film that, quality aside, easily could have been sold wrongly to audiences, leaving them disinterested in its offerings. That Warner Bros. got audiences into theaters to the tune of close to $1 billion is a good sign of things to come.

More: Aquaman 2: How The Ending Sets Up An Even Better Sequel

Key Release Dates
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
  • Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (2020) release date: Feb 07, 2020
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
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