There’s a nice consistent brand look and feel to the campaign, something that’s all the more notable and impressive for the relatively last-minute pivot it took on the way to release. The trailer and poster all work well together very well and show a movie that’s all about the power of imagination. It’s all selling the same thing, even after the move from Paramount to Netflix, which is good.
This is the rare movie that feels precisely of this moment in time. It’s not too far in the past to look irrelevant, like an adult trying to look hip by using slang that fell out of fashion two years ago and not of the future, like it’s trying sooooo hard to look prescient and is just making stuff up in the hope that it will come off as predictive of the next hot trends or of some terrible tragedy it’s trying to warn us of. Instead – and recent events around Pokemon Go, which have been wisely latched on to by both the press and the marketing team, have helped with this – it feels like this is us 15 minutes from now. That’s a hard trick to pull off.
There’s no particular brand the movie is selling, meaning there’s not a lot going on visually between the elements of the campaign. That includes the poster and trailer, though not really the website because there isn’t actually a dedicated, full-throated web presence for the movie. I can’t fault FilmRise for that; It’s a small movie and I can imagine there are just some places corners needed to be cut. So all in all it’s a good, but not great, campaign that sells the performances but not much else.
What the marketing does best is sell the Suicide Squad brand as one to associate with a madcap good time. It’s about anarchy, letting the lunatics run the asylum. It hits that message from every angle, from the music in the trailers to the design of the posters and more. In that regard it’s incredibly strong. But it remains to be seen whether or not it can deliver on that promise and be the antidote to the dour, grim Batman v Superman type movies that audiences are expecting and hoping it will be.
The campaign of course isn’t robust, as is common for a small movie like this. But what there is sells the movie well and in a way that should appeal to fans of stories like this. There’s a strong reliance, as there often is, on word of mouth coming out of festivals and that was positive enough that it should provide an incentive for those following such buzz to seek out the movie if they can.