How Deadpool re-wrote the rule book on creative movie marketing and PR stunts

By on Saturday, May 5, 2018

The latest stunt is an epic power ballad of a music video for Céline Dion’s “Ashes,” which is featured on the film’s soundtrack and features Deadpool doing his best Flashdance impersonation.

Rolling Stone reports “The song arrives with a music video packed with every melodramatic trapping imaginable.  Halfway through, a string quartet appears on stage, as does Deadpool, who accompanies Dion’s performance with an interpretive dance routine.”

[cut to 1m 50 if you’re in a hurry]

The video features some slow-mo snippets from the upcoming movie, including Julian Dennison’s mutant character Russell and Deadpool with Vanessa.

The creative PR and marketing tactics deployed by the Deadpool team has been outstanding from the off.

From the TV and cinema ads, to the off beat Instagram posts, unusual partnerships and inventive use of social media this has been a masterclass in how to build buzz for a film release.

Some of the highlights;

Deadpool and The Red Devils

Manchester United, in partnership with 20th Century Fox, appeared in an advert for the film.

Deadpool: The Romantic Comedy

Deadpool’s release proximity to Valentine’s Day wasn’t lost on 20th Century Fox, and so a new campaign idea was born.

Repackaging the film as a gooey romance flick.

A little bit of photoshop and a cheeky idea can go a long way; this rebranding of Deadpool as a romantic comedy struck a chord with social media users the world over as Ryan Reynold’s shared the images via his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

and it worked…


Letting Deadpool train kids (and swear at them)…

That Emoji Billboard

For our older readers not au fait with emoji speak that reads “Dead Poo L.”

Ryan Reynolds, when asked about the image, said “I remember saying to FOX’s marketing ‘You don’t have the balls to put that as a billboard.’

They called his bluff.

The brashness of the image proves that nothing is off the table when it came to the promotion of this film, and an image of the billboard went viral.

Testicular Cancer Awareness

Yes, you read that right.

Deadpool encouraged gentlemen all over the world, aided by an enormous amount of puns, to check their testicles once a month for any abnormalities or unusual lumps.

A great cause and a hilarious video – proof, if any was needed, that these big budget campaigns have the power to do a little good as well.

Personalised Trailers

The Deadpool campaign demonstrates a number of things but, perhaps more than anything else, that the team behind the campaign understand both the news agenda and fun content and how the two work together to build a story

Making people feel included, making them feel part of the campaign is the holy grail – and they accomplished it with aplomb:

Fan Art

Continuing the theme of ‘audience participation’ the team have taken some unusual fan art for Deadpool and giving it centre stage on Ryan Reynolds’s Twitter and Instagram pages:


With Reynolds free to post whatever he likes with regards to the film to his millions of Instagram followers the good will that the film and its star are generating is worth more than any standard campaign.

Australia Day

Not to be accused of being America-centric, the people behind the campaign started to look at events further afield to give the Deadpool twist to.

Even those thousands of miles away weren’t safe:

Self deprecating throughout with a few cheeky digs at Australian culture along the way meant that the video has almost 2 million views and has initiated the kind of faux social media controversy that most brands can only dream of.

So there you have it; at times controversial, at times educational, but innovative, tongue in cheek and hilarious throughout.

While it might seem a scattershot approach to the uninitiated what’s crucial here is the ‘Deadpool Voice’ is clear and present in every single aspect of the campaign.

The promotion is clear and masterfully executed by a movie marketing team at the top of their game.


by the same author: 6 lessons from the Netflix PR playbook


Comments are closed.

Get the best creative brand campaigns directly to your inbox, every Friday!

Hide forever...