Marketing the Merc With a Mouth

Tony presented this week’s Breakfast Club on Deadpool, and this recent highly successful movie. We have to refer to Deadpool like a real guy because he thinks he is… and we want it to be true. While Deadpool or Wade Wilson, played by Ryan Reynolds, breaks the fourth wall by talking directly to the audience of the film and referencing things like Hugh Jackman, the campaign promoting Deadpool has a level of honesty and self-awareness that its audience loves.

Three things Tony wants to point out about the marketing campaign for Deadpool are that it stays true to the character and the story, removes the usual constraints for movie marketing, and still hides most of the film from the audience—no one wants to sit through a two hour movie they’ve already seen deadpoolin the trailer.

The campaign and the movie itself stay authentic by maintaining Deadpool’s character and the attitude behind it. To achieve this, the movie is R-Rated, meaning that it isn’t a classic family superhero movie, cutting out a large chunk of possible consumers, but those who’re looking for the classic Deadpool, get him.

The campaign on social media included customized Deadpool emojis, complete with winks, kisses, and tongue, as well as ads disguised as click bait and a tinder profile for Deadpool himself. Dreamy.


merc with a mouth


The campaign also featured some Christmas marketing: an advent-style release of something new for each of the twelve days before Christmas and a cardboard Deadpool Santa.

Because of Deadpool’s Valentine’s Day weekend release, another part of the campaign came in the form of ironic love-drama movie posters and adverts, that made the film look like a Nicholas Sparks-style movie. It’s an example of how the character’s self-awareness leeched into the movie marketing tactics.


merc with a mouth


Recently, a petition for Deadpool to host Saturday Night Live has become the internet’s pet project, and the Deadpool team has already responded by releasing an audio recording that mimics the leaked fit Kanye West had backstage at SNL.

The marketing team were able to portray the feel of the film through the campaign, drawing in enough crowds on opening weekend to surpass Batman, Iron Man, Thor, Superman, Spiderman and of course, Wolverine, despite its R rating. More than anything, Deadpool gives fans what they expect from the Merc with a Mouth.

There were a lot of great marketing techniques used in the movie campaign that are in keeping with the brand. The advertisements take forms that encourage user interaction and speak to the movie genre and tone. We use this approach at adHOME to bring out the character of a brand and evaluate the brand personality through our Branding Blueprint exercise.