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Movie Marketing Madness: Win It All

Jake Johnson and Joe Swanberg are retiming for the fourth time in the new movie Win It All, a Netflix original film. Johnson stars as Eddie Garrett, a low-time Chicago gambler who can’t win to save his life. He’s constantly in debt and on the run from collectors and is just kind of subsisting along at the bottom of the pile.

One day an acquaintance who’s about to head into prison asks him to hold onto a duffel bag, telling him not to open it. Of course he eventually opens it and finds it’s filled with cash. Swearing he’s only going to take a few dollars to bet with and then put what he took back, Eddie winds up taking more and more to try and make up for his predictable losses. But along the way he meets a girl for the first time and sees that living this lifestyle is fulfilling, the first time he’s really felt like that. This new facade is about to come crashing down as the person who entrusted the bag to him soon tells Eddie he’s getting out of prison even sooner than planned, meaning time is running out on the scam.

The Posters

For the first time I can recollect, there’s no poster I’ve been able to find. Usually Netflix creates some kind of key art for their movies but there’s nothing I can find anywhere. Really odd and I hope this doesn’t become a trend.

The Trailers

The first trailer is pretty great. Edward is talking to his friend, whose giving him a reality check about how he’s a loser at everything he tries. One day an acquaintance of Edward’s asks him to hold a bag for him and not look inside, but of course he does and finds it’s full of money. He decides to take some out and gamble, then put it back when he wins big. That doesn’t turn out as planned, especially when he finds out the guy is getting out of jail early and he’s taken more than just a small sum out of the bag. In that time, though, he’s gotten himself a girlfriend and is starting to turn other aspects of his life around a bit and doesn’t want to stop the train he’s on.

It’s loose, it’s funny and it features a great performance by Johnson. At least that’s the promise of the trailer, which shows this as a low-scale story about, for lack of a better phrase, a lovable loser. You get what Edward is after and realize he just can’t help himself and shows that yes, Swanberg can make a more traditional movie.

Online and Social

As is the case with almost all Netflix releases, there was nothing here.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing really here, though as usual it’s likely there will be some online ads run once the movie is actually available on Netflix.

Media and Publicity

The movie was one of three Netflix brought to SXSW to promote there. During that time Johnson and Swanberg spoke about reteaming for another film, what was different about this process, how they wrote it together and lots more.

Johnson and Swanberg are also holding a screening and Q&A at Chicago’s Music Box Theater, a nice move that nods to the fact that they both got their start in the city. That was about the extent of the publicity push, though Johnson has mentioned it during interviews for “New Girl” and more.

Overall

With such a small-scale campaign, a lot of the weight is carried by the audience’s appreciation and connection with Swanberg and Johnson. If you’re a fan of either of them individually or as a creative team, which they increasingly are, then the marketing promises something you’ll likely enjoy. Swanberg’s loose style matches well with Johnson’s loose, hangdog, wiseguy charm, something that’s served him well in TV shows and movies both big and small.

The movie that’s on display looks funny and charming. The premise is something we’ve seen before so, again, it comes down to the appeal of the talent involved, something that isn’t really emphasized outside of the limited publicity push. There’s one reference in the trailer to this coming from the director of Drinking Buddies, which also ties into Johnson, and “Easy,” which is likely chosen because it’s another Netflix collaboration with Swanberg.

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