The campaign certainly knows what it’s selling and keeps hitting the same beats consistently. Everything focuses on the wild and crazy nature of the movie and how endlessly kinetic it is as Henry jumps out of helicopters, runs on the roofs of moving trucks and more. As mentioned above, it’s constantly being sold as one long cut scene from a first-person shooter video game, which is alright and appropriate, since that’s the audience that’s going to be most interested in the movie.
Ultimately though there’s a bit of feeling here that this is a two hour exploration of White People’s Problems. Everyone is very angsty and biting about what the truth is and why secrets are being held and all that, but it’s within the context of otherwise safe and comfortable lives. They’re concerned about hiding and revealing the truth because they can afford to be. That’s not a knock on the movie, but the campaign doesn’t make a strong case that this has something new to say with that situation.
The marketing plays to and highlights all of McCarthy’s strengths, mostly her ability to play bold, brash characters as well as her ability to play unlikeable characters but still make the audience care about them. The story itself looks pretty funny and it’s a bold move to put Bell, who’s funny in her own right, in the role of straight woman. While the campaign shows some of Michelle’s journey to reclaim her success through the scout troop I also get the sense there’s very little, if anything, here from the last half hour of the movie, so it doesn’t give us a complete sense of the emotional arc. That’s fine but it actually stands in stark contrast to most campaigns, which show just about everything from the entire story.
From a sheer marketing point of view I like a lot of what’s going on here. Some of the choices made in the trailers don’t quite work but overall they sell the movie really well, particularly the second one that shows more – or any – of Watts’ character. The poster is memorable and interesting and, as I stated, I like the website and the focus on single brand social channels. I wish the press had done something different during publicity interviews, but that’s largely out of the studio’s hands.
There’s nothing huge here. It’s an alright effort that sells a movie that looks…alright. It checks all the boxes it needs to, though I’ll admit to being a bit surprised there wasn’t at least a red-band trailer since it seems like a little bit of language, additional violence and such would up the appeal factor for the movie. The website is a bit old-fashioned if anything in how it’s laid out and how everything is its own page. I’d love to get under the hood and have my team work on that, quite frankly.