I finally saw Deadpool last week and it is definitely a contender for the best movie of this year. Where I actively avoid mainstream movie theatres (especially in Singapore, where the selection is even narrower. Luckily we have Projector), it was like a breath of fresh air to watch something totally politically incorrect on big screen. And I am not the only one enjoying it, Deadpool is becoming the third biggest superhero movie of all-time.
1.Don´t listen to focus groups
There is a lie, damn lie and then your target audience analyzing your ads in focus groups. Deadpool is the kind of movie that would not ever get a green light in focus group. There is senseless violence, infantile humor and jabs and insults to everything that is sacred. The hero is flawed and does not even want to be hero. Not surprisingly, despite the strong hype movie was not exactly going anywhere:
We developed the script six years ago, wrote this fantastic script, it leaked online, Deadpool fans went nuts for it, so the studio granted us a small amount of money to make test footage. This test footage that we shot then sat on the shelf for four years, as it does, they didn’t do anything with it, then just a little under two years ago it leaked, accidentally, onto the internet.
Ryan Reynolds (in Jimmy Fallon)
Deadpool would not have happened if there had not been groundswell to get the film released. Ryan Reynolds continues:
“Here’s the thing, the fans freaked out and overwhelmed Fox, and Fox basically had to greenlight the movie. The problem is the footage was owned by Fox so it was kind of illegal … I know that one of us did it.”
If you truly believe in your product, sometimes you have to bend the rules (or even ignore them) a little bit.
2.Embrace the constraints
Fox tried to do pretty much everything to not get the movie released, e.g. cutting the budget on the last minute:
“We had to carve something like $7-8 million out of the budget in a 48-hour window. And we, as a group, just put our heads together, got creative, and said ‘How do we cut what is essentially nine pages out of a 110 page script?’”
–Rhett Reese (writer)
But when there is a will, there is a way. Deadpool is not about the special effects. It is about the attitude. If you have the attitude, that can shine through but if you are only about who is having the biggest explosions, that kind of cut would be fatal.
3.Ride the trend…but in opposite direction
People start to get bored of superhero movies. They still are going to see them, because essentially you don´t have a choice, as they are everywhere. Everyone knows the formula and every superhero comes from the same mold. When someone breaks the pattern, it will definitely get noticed. That is why it is important to know your competition, so you can do exactly the opposite than them.
The marketing campaign for Deadpool is a perfect example of a great integrated campaign. Top-of-mind is ensured with heavy use of traditional channels.
In digital you are really starting to have fun. Like with Deadpool emojis or a Tinder profile:
5.Keep it real
Traditionally having a R-rated film is a deathblow to a film. Deadpool has gone against all the conventional Hollywood wisdom, mainly because the makers had a strong belief to the film.
So that´s all. If you have not seen Deadpool, go see it now.