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Why Deadpool's marketing was such a hit, according to Ryan Reynolds

10.21.2016

When DEADPOOL came out earlier this year not only did it cause severe cases of Permanently Dropped Jaw syndrome by making $132 million it’s first three days (going on to finish at $782 million worldwide), but it proved no movie had truly harnessed the greatest marketing tool of the 21st century: The internet. The movie blew up on social media thanks to a bevy of viral videos, billboards and parody posters, with the character's humor and R-rated sensibilities taking center stage. Every ad was hilarious and share-worthy, and though the marketing department deserves their credit, there’s one man we should also be thanking, and that’s Deadpool himself—Ryan Reynolds

During an interview with THR right before the Clio Key Art Awards (which awards media advertising), Reynolds shared how involved he was in the marketing campaign for the film, working side-by-side with Fox domestic marketing chief Marc Weinstock:

“I’ve never taken ownership like this before.  I could email Marc or anyone on his team at three in the morning with pitches and ideas, and somehow a response would come back within 10 or 15 minutes."

With only a budget of $60 million (which is like trying to fund a movie with kitty litter nowadays), Reynolds and Weinstock had to think outside the box and were "always trying to make one dollar look like 10" when it came to advertising, which led to the now famous emoji billboard, a slew of parody posters, and an improvised Halloween video shot on Reynolds' iPhone (below), to name a few. The billboard blew up online which allowed it to spread past the reach of normal billboards which, if you didn’t know, must remain stationary:

"The ad buys for Deadpool were minimal compared to the reward we reaped because we hijacked the internet."

20th Century Fox won two awards last night, one for best integrated campaign for its parody posters and all-around internet presence, and one for best out of home for the above billboard. All of these adverts relied on Pool’s unique sense of humor, and for Reynolds the ability to channel the character is a big reason why he was able to help so much:

"Deadpool is probably the most unpolished superhero out there, and it gave us this almost unfair advantage. We used this opportunity over and over because we had a character that is a total misfit and f—ing rascal. I can channel this guy in a way I just can't seem to channel anything else. When it comes to Deadpool's sensibility, and certainly his sense of humor, I feel like we were born on the same end of the spectrum."

DEADPOOL's marketing campaign was so ingenious I don't think we would be talking about the movie right now without it. That may seem obvious, but the campaign was able to tap into the zeitgeist in a way no movie ever has, getting to the core of the millennials' desire to embrace quirky and self-referential humor. As a result the movie destroyed all expectations, and has become the most talked about superhero movie of the year, which is astronomical considering BATMAN V. SUPERMAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and SUICIDE SQUAD have all been blowing up at the box office, too. Needless to say we're all waiting to see what kind of advertising they can come up with next year as they prepare to release DEADPOOL 2 in 2018. Better get sending those emails, Reynolds.

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Source: THR

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