Day 6

How Deadpool 2 turned Céline Dion and frozen food into a marketing home run

Deadpool isn't like other Marvel superheroes and that's turned out to be a golden marketing opportunity.

Inside the madcap marketing of Deadpool 2

Céline Dion released a song to promote Deadpool 2. (Céline Dion/YouTube)
Listen4:20

A slew of sequels is swamping cinemas this summer. The lineup includes Incredibles 2Ant Man and the Wasp, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Jeff Beer, staff editor at Fast Company, tells Day 6 it's difficult for sequels to stand out in such a competitive market.

"We're so used to seeing so many different marketing messages — whether it's billboards, TV commercials, teasers, trailers or products with movie characters plastered all over them — that a lot of it becomes invisible after a while."

That's why the campaign for one movie, Deadpool 2impressed him. In theatres May 18, the film continues the R-rated adventures of a sarcastic assassin first seen in Marvel comics in the '90s.

Deadpool 2 is not partaking in "the family-friendly, scattershot marketing of a traditional blockbuster," Beer says.

Instead, it's blanketing the market with a surprising range of advertisements, which highlight Deadpool's comedic, devil-may-care persona.

Ads range from a duo with Canadian singer Céline Dion to a self-deprecating endorsement for Devour frozen foods. These methods of advertising aren't unique in themselves.

"We're used to seeing [superhero] images all over the place, whether that's slapping Captain America's face on a box of cereal or dressing one of the M&Ms up like Iron Man," Beer says.

"They're familiar platforms that we're used to seeing movie marketing happen around, but [Deadpool 2 is] sort of subverting in a way that is unexpected and fun."

The ads fit the style of Deadpool by using the same humour people can expect from the movie.

"I think the lessons marketers can take from a campaign like this is going back to some core questions about what you're actually selling and who you're selling it to," Beer says.

Some of Deadpool 2's most notable ads include:

A music video with Céline Dion singing a power ballad while Deadpool dances behind her

An ad for Devour frozen foods where Deadpool cops to being a sell-out

An apology to David Beckham after a joke in the first film

A fake Twitter account for one of the movie's characters

An issue of Good Housekeeping in which Deadpool was the guest editor

Deadpool was guest editor of the magazine "Good Housekeeping" in November 2017. (Good Housekeeping)

To hear the full interview with Jeff Beer, download our podcast or click the 'Listen' button at the top of this page.