A-LIST | The Top 5 Movie Marketing Campaigns of 2018

A-LIST | The Top 5 Movie Marketing Campaigns of 2018

Maybe you have noticed and been a little perturbed that Aquaman has not been heavy in the marketing mojo cookie jar? With so much riding on that movie for both DC Comics and Warner Bros., they had to be cautious with strategy, a little trepidatious with marketing.

One bad leak and that movie sinks. James Wan knows it and has been masterful about protecting it. No leaks. No stinks. At least so far, so quit complaining.

That said, 2018 has been full of product placement, website takeovers, POS positioning, and a slew of other avenues for movie marketing. So, while DC and WB saves their pennies for outreach, let’s take a minute to admonish some of the most impressive of this movie season.

Here is the next A-List for …

The Top 5 Move Marketing Campaigns of 2018:

(And uh, Warner Bros., this is how to get it done in 2019.)

5. Black Panther 

What could have been “just another Marvel movie,” was anything but thanks to the dynamic marketing and grassroots outreach of this film. Marvel, Disney, and Ryan Coogler listened to where the spikes of interest resonated and targeted those areas.

Their heat map was red-hot — radio tours with various stars, musical placement on diverse TV shows, and even a slammin’ soundtrack created by Kendrick Lamar that debuted at No. 1 and even Spotify got involved, creating one of its hottest lists in years.


4. Mission Impossible: Fallout 

There’s a definite reason Paramount keeps bringing Tom Cruise back to do these films – the franchise is an open cash register. Not since any James Bond franchise has any movie been anticipated because of the stunt work. And that five-foot-nothing Tom Cruise does most of them himself. Man’s game! His work is so dangerous in the MI franchise that he had to tell Superman, “NO.”

(BTW, it was the Halo Jump. Tom jumped on the first take. Henry stayed in the plane.)

For more than 20 years (yes, really), this saga of Ethan Hunt keeps fans on the edge of their seats with what Cruise is really going to do to earn your respect. The stories come from everywhere — and they are entirely spoiler-proof. They all start, somehow, the same way, “You just have to see it to believe it.”

3. A Quiet Place

This was nothing but respect. No one had to shout “SPOILER ALERT,” because it didn’t happen. The trailer began the momentum. It was remarkably different. Think about it: When was the last time you watched a two-minute trailer with seven words in it?

We have a monster movie wrapped in the guise of a family drama. Bad kids start whining? Open the door and they get eaten by aliens. The dog won’t stop barking? Where’s that window. Ironic, isn’t it? The movie that forces you to stop everything and pay attention in complete silence, was a massive success in the box office because of word-of-mouth advertising.

2. Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg knew his demographic and pursued them with reckless abandon. If you knew anything about the ’80s, this movie was purposely pimped out for you. The soundtrack featured Rush’s Tom Sawyer and Van Halen’s Jump. The trailer showed arcade champs like Q-Bert, film references like Back to the Future, and toys from those movies like The Iron Giant. 

Granted, it was overkill with the references but if you represent the zany ’80s, you didn’t care. You laughed with every image, every tune, leaving the people in the audience who only read about that stuff in books thinking, “What’s the deal-io, brah.” The deal was brilliant because every geek store — video, audio, book, game, broadcast — this movie got a cornucopia of love, appearances, and free advertising.

1. Deadpool 2

There is no question who’s the champ of the blockbuster marketing in 2018. This movie was in places that has never been considered before, fitting for a comic book movie that has never pushed the envelope so far.

The content the film provided was enough. The mockery of other films gave it even more leverage. But the national takeover this movie took on shelves everywhere was a site to behold. For instance, Deadpool photobombing?


That was absolutely genius — and had to be ridiculously expensive! I remember being at Wal-Mart seeing this and laughed out loud. So much, someone carted by and grumbled under his breath (and easily a triple-chin) “What a nerd.”

And what about a trailer that had nothing to do with the movie but allowed Ryan Reynolds to flex as… Bob Ross?!

Are you kidding me?! That is no “happy little accident.”

The way 20th Century Fox took out the boundaries and put Deadpool’s face everywhere was impressive. Much like Apple with ‘Think’ and Obama with ‘Change’, this owned ‘takeover’ and it will be a feat of strength for any other movie to come close anytime in the future.


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