How Deadpool’s marketing is breaking the fourth wall


The latest Marvel Superhero movie is set for release this week and after a marketing campaign like no other, we can’t wait to see the sarcastic anti-hero in action. The marketing for the film has been described as innovative and unique; ScreenRant even called it the “best marketing campaign in the history of cinema”. So, why is it so great?

Firstly, Deadpool is the perfect movie for experiential marketing. The character is infamous for breaking the fourth wall between the audience and himself and so the stunts often appear as though the character has orchestrated them himself. Because of this, the movie marketers have worked closely with the film’s star Ryan Reynolds and a great deal of content has been been seeded out through Reynolds and his social media accounts directly. It is often hard to distinguish between the character of Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds himself.

Hype around the movie has been growing significantly over the past year and we’ve taken a closer look at our favourite Deadpool marketing moments so far.

Emoji marketing

This particular billboard may have left some wondering what on earth was coming on 12th February. Despite being awarded a 15 certificate here in the UK, the use of emojis to display the film’s name talks directly to the “young boy” generation that the movie is aimed at. Shortly after the billboard was spotted, Reynolds released a new poster on his twitter account with the title “Skull Poop L” – a movie so hyped up it doesn’t even need to mention its name!

How Deadpool spent Halloween

With over 4.2 million views on YouTube this video is arguably the most successful piece of content from the entire campaign. In a hilarious documentary style video, Deadpool confuses unsuspecting kids as he swears and hands knives to them on Halloween. The handful of children are dressed as X-Men characters, hinting at 20th Century Fox’s treatment of the character comparatively to their X-men franchise.

Valentine’s Day billboard  

Highlighting its Valentine’s Day weekend release, posters emerged of Deadpool marketed this time as a love story, spoofing the ‘dinner and a movie’ cliché that other films around its release will be using.

Deadpool on Tinder

Further cementing the Valentine’s Day weekend release, Tinder users began seeing Deadpool appear in their potential matches. When engaging with users the “semi-professional bad guy” tells people where to go to buy tickets for a cinema showing of the movie.

Testicular Cancer PSA

In one of its viral video efforts, Deadpool marketers released a testicular cancer SPA called ‘Touch yourself tonight’, which features the character telling men how to check their private parts for the “most common form of cancer in men aged between 15 and 35”.

“Hold each of your man berries — or as I like to call them, Smooth Criminals. In turn, between your thumb and fingers, give them a gentle roll around. Don’t get too excited, though. You’re on a mission” Reynolds says in character. Since its release the video has amassed over 1.9 million views on YouTube.