How you communicate matters: especially when you want to become a raging success and take on the big boys4 min read

Ryan Reynolds makes really good ads

After spending years trying to find the money to make it and a studio to support it, Deadpool was finally made in 2016 for $58 million (Deadpool 2 garnered more support with a budget of $110 million).

Still, compared to the typical superhero movie budget  we’re talking pocket change:

  • Green Lantern $200 million
  • The Dark Knight Rises $230 million
  • Avengers: Infinity Wars $300–400 million 

Before the premiere of Deadpool, we were all delighted by the wave of content marketing that Reynolds leveraged in the absence of a large, conventional marketing budget.

Even the conventional mediums were used with creativity:

Putting on the costume for several full days of promotional shooting produced videos that were not only watched but shared like wildfire.

Everyone was throwing the links around and all my feeds were full of people watching and re-watching the teasers and trailers. What we ended up with is arguably some of the best marketing to come out of Hollywood in a long while, where the same ‘ol, same ‘ol has permeated everything and uniformity is king.

I am tired of this Marvel movie trope where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero. The Hulk fought the Abomination, who is just a bad Hulk. Spider-Man fights Venom, who is just a bad Spider-Man. Iron Man fights Ironmonger, a bad Iron Man.


I want more films where the hero and the villain have wildly different powers. That makes the action much more interesting.

– George R. R. Martin

The iconic way in which Deadpool is self-aware opened up a whole way in which Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds can cross back and forth across the fourth wall (the screen between the movie and the audience).

Without needing to use any clips from the movie, DP2 brought us this mini-story:

And then, of course, there’s this gloriousness with over 76 million views and counting:

Even going on a late-night talk show wasn’t done in the usual way where the guests sit and chat amicably with the host about how great and wonderful everything about the project was:

He’s ticked all the boxes in the holy trinity of content marketing:

  1. You simply must market, because without marketing no one will know about you.
  2. Your marketing should fulfil a need because your content should be helpful or useful to the people consuming it and,
  3. You don’t wait until your product is finished to do marketing, because you have to build an audience if you want to monetise it and it takes time to build an audience.

So, after apologising to each berry individually we beat the living hell out of them

Now Reynolds has taken his marketing success from Deadpool and put it towards his own brand of gin.

The YouTube description of the video reads: “What makes Aviation Gin so delicious? I’m glad you didn’t ask…” and in a solid one-minute-forty, he takes gin advertising to Deadpool-level.

Hats off, mate. Hats off.

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