As you may have learned by now, the Deadpool movie is nothing sort of a colossal success, generating over $150 million in box office revenue over the President’s Day weekend. Part of that success owes credit to an insane marketing strategy.
While the film stays true to the ridiculous, over-the-top, tone that the comic book series, Deadpool marketing also mirrored that effort. Usually, superhero films consist of big-budget commercials and promotional pushes through toys and other fare. However, that wasn’t the case with Deadpool, considering his R-rated antics.
Advertising for the film went all over the place in terms of creativity. Along with featuring images of the masked assassin appear in a number of advertisements, there were also more creative means to promoting the film, like utilizing emojis to spell out his name on a billboard, as seen in the image below.
It also took an off-beat approach, with one particular advertisement noting that Deadpool was, in fact, a love story, similar to previous films starring actor Ryan Reynolds. In fact, Reynolds tweeted out the image below the month before the film’s release, featuring no mention of superhero antics, and instead making it look like a typical romance film.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) January 11, 2016
Deadpool‘s appearances weren’t just limited to advertisements, suggestive posters and a standee where visitors could sit in his lap through a cardboard seat. He also made several viral appearances leading up to the film’s release, including a profile on Tinder, an active YouTube channel featuring a number of topics, like addressing the film’s lack of a PG-13 rating on a fake episode of Extra and a Halloween visit with children that goes insanely wrong. All in addition to an appearance on TBS’ Conan show, where he gives host Conan O’Brien a curious massage.
Deadpool also made an impact on the social front with the introduction of various emoji, featuring different expressions of the assassin’s face. By downloading a free app, fans could implement the emoji into their messages, in turn spreading word about the film while celebrating their irreverent hero.
The hero also got busy during the holidays, releasing a number of YouTube videos to celebrate his take on the holidays, ranging from clips from the film to original content, like the debut of the “Pool Log,” a humorous take on the fireplace videos that had been popular with viewers over the years.
Perhaps where Deadpool‘s promotion was most effective was Fox’s involvement with pre-Super Bowl shenanigans. The studio was out in full force in San Francisco before the event to hype the film, alongside Independence Day: Resurgence and X-Men Apocalypse, but Deadpool got primary treatment. Ryan Reynolds made the journey to the city to promote the film, alongside co-star T.J. Miller. In addition to “taking over a bar” and renaming it after a location from the movie, the star also served up chimichangas – a favorite delicacy of Deadpool‘s – and took part in the film’s world premiere. On top of that, several videos emerged from the takeover, including this interactive 360-degree video on Facebook featuring several Deadpools getting in on the action.
Not bad for a movie that got its start as a leaked test video.
Deadpool is in theaters now.