No matter how well Deadpool performs at the Box Office, its marketing campaign has been more than a resounding success. ‘Going viral’ is the dream of marketers around the world and sure, it’s easier when you’re backed by a giant US conglomerate like Fox, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Without really noticing, Deadpool has become a part of everyday life and in a far different way from traditional film promotion. It has saturated social media, from Twitter to Instagram, with witty one-liners and tongue-in-cheek posts.
Social media has given the film a freedom of promotion that traditional mediums just can’t provide. There are less repercussions; an official Twitter account for Deadpool was set up and tweeted a picture of Ryan Reynold’s in full Deadpool garb, lying across a Thanksgiving dinner table. Emojis were used to push out the name of the film on billboards and poster-ads. 30 second, faux-awareness videos were plastered over Twitter and Instagram.
Even if the film ends up completely failing – which I doubt it will – in terms of engagement and publicity it has been an education to marketers and PRs everywhere. It emphasises the real power and impact of knowing your target audience inside out; going beyond the traditional superhero-movie demographic to an audience who want to see the film based on the campaign alone.
Whether you see the film or not is beside the point here. How many films, big or small, mainstream or independent, manage to saturate social media quite so thoroughly as Deadpool? We aren’t just looking at the rehabilitation of a controversial comic book figure. We’re looking at what is arguably one of the biggest viral marketing success stories since “viral marketing” officially became a part of the Internet’s colloquial lingo.