Strategy Breakdown of the Social Campaign That Fueled Deadpool’s Success

  • March 4, 2016

    After the largest ever opening for a rated R movie, it is undeniable that Deadpool has been a resounding success. To obtain huge returns from a character that is relatively unknown by the mainstream population, a creative marketing strategy is a necessity. Being a Fox Studios production means big advertising dollars for TV spots, posters, and sponsorships. However, saturating the market no longer translates to success at the box office as audiences have become savvier to tuning out ordinary advertising and big budget films continue to flop. Deadpool won with a creative social strategy that differentiated themselves from the noise. Let’s take a look at the high-level social media tactics that Deadpool leveraged to create record-breaking demand for their product that you can use for your brand.

    From the very beginning, the campaign had one cohesive voice. The character from the comics was famous for pushing boundaries, snappy zingers, speaking directly to the reader, and overall not adhering to the traditional idea of a superhero. The strategists did an outstanding job of identifying this voice, contextualizing it, and spreading it across their campaign. They undoubtedly conducted a brand analysis and built their strategy around the results. The smart-aleck voice embodied throughout the campaign appealed to die-hard fans as well as caught the attention of casual observers.

    The most important component of their campaign was the quality of their custom content. Between pictures, graphics, gifs, and videos, they created post after post that demanded attention and stayed true to their brand voice.

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    From the very first post, they put Deadpool in an offbeat setting and broke the fourth wall by speaking to the reader and mentioning Burt Reynolds.

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    Again Deadpool is juxtaposing the traditional idea of a heroic Captain America or majestic Superman. This captivates attention and is also very shareable in the Internet’s eyes. Their video content ranged from trailers and talk show appearances to PSA’s and Deadpool himself simply discussing whatever he pleases. Just like their photography, the video content reinforced their brand persona, is wildly entertaining, and positioned the movie in a way that was differentiated and valuable in the audience’s eyes.
    Community engagement is another key component to spreading your social presence. Deadpool utilized this strategy in several different ways. The first and simplest way is retweeting fans. Doing this makes the audience feel involved and they will be more likely to engage with your brand resulting in increased word of mouth and more people seeing your content.

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    Another tactic they used was to jump into conversations that already have a spotlight on them. This is a smart strategy to reap the benefits of conversations that already have a large number of participants.

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    They created content specifically for the Golden Girls anniversary. A topic that seemingly has nothing to do with Deadpool (although he does have a running gag of mentioning Bea Arthur in the comics) but can still gain attention by inserting themselves into a discussion that is taking place apart from them. They do this in other places as well such as entering into an esurance sweepstakes.

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    By jumping into conversations and engaging with their followers, the Deadpool campaign was able to drastically increase their virality. Every engagement, no matter how small, aided in increasing the number of eyes on their content.

    All of the components of the Deadpool campaign worked in harmony to produce an overall extremely effective campaign and the results from the box office spoke for themselves. The brand strategy, content, and engagement all complimented each other and resulted in fans, celebrities, and news sources alike wanting to share their content. While they certainly executed the campaign well and the content was very creative, their high level strategies were not particularly innovative. The Deadpool campaign used tactics that any brand can use for themselves and replicate similar success. It is proof that social media success can translate into a healthier bottom line.

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