The campaign is consistent from one element to the next, that’s for sure. Everything is presented in the brightest possible colors and with the peppiest possible music, with very few deviations from that approach. The two stars, Kendrick and Timberlake, have been front and center throughout, either in the press or introducing trailers, which allows the marketing to play off their inherent likability and appeal to their fanbases. It’s a solid campaign that knows what it’s selling and gets the job done.
It’s hard to get a sense of the scale of the actual movie from the campaign. This seems like a big release and an important movie. But there’s only one trailer, a mismatched TV campaign and a press push that was kind of light for what seems like it should be an awards contender. It just seems like there should have been more. And there certainly should have been something on the official site that offered a bit more background on Doss, considering his story is so important.
The biggest asset that’s been amplified by the campaign is that this is once again an origin story, something that’s been in relatively short supply in the Marvel Cinematic Universe over the last couple years. Not only that, but it’s basically being sold as the same movie as Batman Begins from back in 2005, with an entitled white guy going to Asia for spiritual guidance and purpose. That’s not a bad, thing, it’s smart for the movie to make it clear this is a new hero we’re following, providing for a new franchise audiences can latch on to.
And that encompasses the movie that’s being sold as a whole. Negga and Edgerton obviously give amazing performances and that’s the main draw here. It’s interesting that Nichols’ name actually appears on the poster, a bar that other directors like Robert Zemeckis have failed to clear of late. That makes sense considering the solid reputation he’s built up over the last few years, though. At the end, the campaign sells a compelling story that, as has been reinforced time and time again, is just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago.