In the past few days, American audiences attending Logan’s screenings were shown some footage that almost stole the show from the last adventure of the mutant with adamantium claws. At center stage was the anti-hero Deadpool, once again played by actor Ryan Reynolds.
Titled No Good Deed and screened before Logan’s opening credits, the clip is now available online in an extended version uploaded to Reynolds’ YouTube channel. Many consider it a teaser for Deadpool 2, although the project has not been given an official title yet, nor a release date has been scheduled.
At some point in the sequence, the “merch with a mouth” mocks Wolverine’s costume with his typical meta-humor. This ironic wink between characters, which was already a staple of the promotional campaign for the first Deadpool film, also has a “real life” companion on social media. Reynolds is indeed regularly mocking fellow actor Hugh Jackman on Twitter, and the Australian star holds up the game for the delight of their fans.
Now speculations focus on whether the communication strategy for the second instalment will be as creative as the one for the first film. But why the campaign for Deadpool worked so well?
Creativity and channels
The team involved in the promotion of the first film shot all the creative ammo they had and leveraged Reynolds’ own input and support: he was very active on social media and always ready to unleash the irreverent nature of the character. Overall, content was created for platforms ranging from television to digital media: from tweets to commercials screened during the Super Bowl, virtually no channel was left out.
Timing and audience
Content marketing, real-time marketing, social media marketing, viral… A range of labels can be used to define specific stunts, but what is clear is that the responsiveness that has welcomed the entire campaign played a central role. There were instances where the reactions of the fan base were transformed into brand new content, feeding an engagement which was in tune both with the character’s talkative nature, and with the audience’s own expectations. This was noted by film critics since the first trailer was screened at San Diego Comic-Con, receiving a standing ovation from fans in attendance.
1. The leak of the CGI test footage
It all started when the footage shot to test the special effects leaked online. Fans went crazy: finally a version of the character on screen that did justice to the comics and was far away from the horrible treatment Deadpool suffered in X-Men Origins – Wolverine. The rest is history.
2. The costume reveal
Ryan Reynolds posing as… Burt Reynolds. Deadpool is introduced in the same pose in which Burt Reynolds appeared on Cosmopolitan in 1972: lying on a bearskin rug, in front of a fireplace.
3. The viral campaign #12DaysOfDeadpool
Ad-hoc content released on social media for 12 consecutive days, including several GIFs, a new trailer and an emoji sets for mobile devices.
4. The April Fool’s Day prank
Extra host Mario Lopez discusses the film’s PG-13 certification with Reynolds, until Deadpool breaks in and ends the interview… in his very own way.
5. The emoji billboard
Just three emojis for a pun that hit motorists and rebounded online. Irony does not need much more than this.