A while back I wrote a post taking a look at the viral marketing being used by the film Deadpool. Given it’s wild success and record breaking profit it seems right to take an even deeper look into the social media planning that went into it. I am in no way an expert, but clearly whatever plan they implemented worked. Just look at their $300 million and growing box office take. It has even gotten a lot of attention from other industry leaders in film. In the weeks that followed its release, Warner Brother’s studios stated they would release a rated R edit of the upcoming Batman V. Superman. Whether or not this is just jumping on the bandwagon or where the genre is heading one thing is clear… the social media plan worked to perfection.
So where does a marketing team or any Public Relations team start when approaching how run to a successful campaign? It beings with by outlining key goals in a strategic planning model.
One of the first parts of the planning model is the laying out a situational statement. This states exactly why a plan is needed and what the over all goal is. So for example Deadpool’s Situational statement may have been along the lines of this. Drive audiences to the theater through extensive social media marketing while informing the public of the violent nature of the film. The next step would be to layout Objectives or, in other words, specific measurable goals.
- Show the studios commitment to staying true to the source material
- Create promotional content that showcases the title character’s nature
- Sell movie on it’s wit and violence through highly viral campaign
Since we live in the era where superhero movies are the top box office draws, many studios want to broaden their audience to include all ages. However this leaves some aspects of the source material completely untouchable. Where Deadpool succeeded most was proving that there is a market for a more violent crowd. Which bring us to our next step.
After the objectives are clearly written out, then you define your target audience. For this movie it was clear that the audience was an 18 and older crowd, hence the R rating. But when creating a strategic plan you must go deeper than that and break it down more specifically. While movies can have multiple audiences typically the superhero genre ranges from 18-34 year old with the majority of them being male. Deadpool however had the rare opportunity to specifically target the hardcore fans. The people who not only go to see the movies, but have spent years reading the comics too. I say this is rare because this was a movie many believed would not see life on the big screen. Due to the violence that comes with the character, fans felt they had their voices heard when the studio green lit the movie.
Once the objectives are clear then comes the part that gets the wheels turning, the strategy and tactics. This is where a team determines how they will implement and achieve their goal. Deadpool’s strategy seemed rely heavily on YouTube and twitter to release viral videos and engage with the fans using the title characters voice. It created an environment in which fans felt as if they could speak directly to the character. The team carefully planned videos to release leading up to, and even after, the films release. Each release was timely and driven by their overall objectives. They had multiple accounts delivering new content and clips and with each release came another new log to add to the hype fire.
Check out this video they released on the one-month anniversary of the movie to keep the hype going!
The success of Deadpool’s strategic plan will be looked too by many studios in the near future. Soon you’ll see countless new movies being released trying to jump on the rated R hero wagon. It happened before when Super Bad ushered in the R rate teen comedy and it’ll happen again with the next fad of Hollywood. That just goes to show you the power of a well thought out and executed Strategic plan. One strong campaign can set a trend that last for a decade.