Digital Marketing for Deadpool: Innovative Marketing Strategies

Deadpool is an interesting case study in digital marketing. He has a large social media following who are open to unconventional marketing tactics and offers exclusive content.

Deadpool is a Marvel comic book character that has been around since the 1980’s. Deadpool has always been known for his “R” rated content, and this marketing strategy was no different. The Deadpool social media campaign was designed to be highly innovative, which is why it worked so well.

Deadpool, often known as the “Merc with a Mouth,” is the newest Marvel Comics character to make the leap to the big screen. During their run on the New Mutants series in the early 1990s, writer Fabian Nicieza and artist Rob Liefeld developed the character. Since then, Deadpool has produced a slew of standalone publications as well as crossovers with almost every Marvel character.

While the character began as a bleak mercenary who matched DC’s Deathstroke the Terminator, he evolved into something more original and amusing under Joe Kelly’s pen in the late 1990s. Deadpool’s popularity grew as a result of the comic’s comical tone, and his fans demanded that he be brought to the big screen. Ryan Reynolds, who campaigned for the part, was a strong supporter of their cause.

20th Century Fox devised a fairly unconventional marketing strategy for the picture, relying mainly on film rather of video. In their quest for box office success, they used viral videos, seasonal pieces, Marketing in the Regions, and social media.

The pervasiveness of digital marketing, along with out-of-the-box techniques, echoed the odd nature of the character they were promoting. Finally, the marketing team attempted to infiltrate as many people’s lives as possible while disclosing as little of the film as feasible.

Marketing for the Holidays

Holidays are one item that always seems to be in the headlines. Taking advantage of this, the Deadpool team devised tactics to promote the film through viral videos and other holiday shenanigans. Starting on April Fool’s Day last year, the company addressed fans’ worries about the film’s PG-13 rating by having Deadpool appear in costume on Extra and conduct an assault on Mario Lopez.

Their holiday-themed films continued with a Halloween video, which was posted on Ryan Reynolds’s YouTube account. Since then, the video has received over 4.2 million views. One conclusion from this is that a low-budget creative effort like this may elicit nearly as much discussion as a high-budget blockbuster trailer. Reynolds was also used by the company to promote the picture in a much wider manner than most films are, including talk shows and interviews.

The 12 Days of Deadpool was the largest holiday blitz.

Every day from December 14 to December 25 included a different piece of material, building up to the release of a new trailer for the film. Entertainment Magazine, People Magazine, Deviant Art, Fandango, and others created partnerships. Fans were kept engaged on a regular basis by GIFs, new movie posters, and branded emojis spread around the Internet, which maintained brand awareness at an all-time high and pushed it to trending status for weeks.

Marketing in the Regions

While the majority of the film’s marketing relies on wide appeal via sex, violence, and humour, a few marketing campaigns targeted more specialized populations. Several films, in particular, were made to expressly target certain geographic regions.

Despite the fact that Deadpool was prohibited in China due to censorship difficulties, the marketing team recognized the fans there. Ryan Reynolds dressed up to wish everyone a happy Chinese New Year, like he does in most of his popular videos. A video was also made in honor of Australia Day.

The third region-specific ad went a step further by showing Manchester United’s cooperation with the studio. In it, Deadpool scores a goal while being cheered on by a group of football players. In less than a week, the film had over 1.5 million views thanks to cross-promotion between the two organizations.

This one may seem self-evident, but the social media campaign for this film was vital in its success. Not only is there a dedicated Twitter account for the film (@DeadpoolMovie), but Ryan Reynolds’ account has become a significant promotional tool for the studio, with virtually solely Deadpool-related posts for months.

As Deadpool breaches the fourth wall, many of the postings are done in character, with a tongue-in-cheek knowledge of the fact that it’s all a ruse. Deadpool has an advantage since it is a superhero film, but the community engagement is also a big plus.

While most companies don’t have obsessive fans that dress up as their primary character or mascot, Deadpool’s marketing demonstrates the value of engaging with your audience and allowing them to promote you as brand ambassadors.

Outside-the-Box Marketing

What distinguishes Deadpool’s marketing from that of other films is the way the promotion reflects the protagonist of the film. Everything about this film’s advertising is off-kilter and geared at folks with a short attention span and a dark or filthy sense of humor. Deadpool encapsulates the dark comedy sensibility of a generation jaded to violence and uninterested in traditional superhero storylines.

As the release date approached, marketing activities were scaled up in addition to bombarding the public with video after video on the internet. Five television networks aired personalized advertisements during three-hour blocks that were tailored to the demographic of the programme. This ad included the films “Workaholics,” “Tosh.0,” and “Golden Girls.” Deadpool had an odd relationship to Bea Arthur in the comic, but since her death, Betty White has been included in a joyfully naughty advertising piece. eQ

The closeness of the Super Bowl to the release date was also used by 20th Century Fox. They not only bought a commercial during the game, but they also conducted a number of live promos throughout the weekend.

The studio planned for Ryan Reynolds to take over a taco truck on Friday and serve chimichangas, which his character enjoys. On Saturday, Fox turned a space near the stadium into Sister Margaret’s Bar, a film set, and invited Reynolds and co-star T.J. Miller to party. During the big game on Sunday, Deadpool “took over” Fox’s Snapchat account.

The marketing team also conducted a few more stunts to promote the film, some of which were a little off-kilter. Carl’s Jr., which is renowned for brazenly utilizing sex to sell, is assisting in cross-promotion with limited edition giant Deadpool drink cups that read “Size Matters.” Strange billboards were used, as well as self-referential comedy.

There are various lessons to be gleaned from this film’s marketing efforts:

Know who you’re talking to. Always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always, always Finally, do something different with your marketing.

What are your thoughts on Deadpool’s marketing? Let us know what you think in the comments!

Patrick Whalen is a webinar host for SEMrush’s US office. He has a lot of expertise in the field of digital marketing. Patrick worked as a project manager in SEO, inbound marketing, and paid search before joining the SEMrush marketing team. He’s also a long-time comic book collector, with a collection spanning 25 years. @2PatWhalen is his Twitter handle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How was Deadpool marketed?

A: Deadpool was marketed as a superhero who broke the 4th wall and would say anything without thinking. He made jokes about himself in every scene, which helped get people interested in him because he had such a strong personality.

What are the various innovative marketing strategies that can be used for digital marketing?

A: The various innovative marketing strategies that can be used for digital marketing are listed below, in no particular order:
-Create your own viral ad campaign.
-Write a blog post on how to drive traffic to your website.
-Use social media influencers and celebrities as brand ambassadors.

Who did the marketing for Deadpool?

A: Deadpool was created by Marvel Studios, but the marketing for it was handled by 20th Century Fox.

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