Movie Marketing Madness: The Lovers

Debra Winger and Tracey Letts star in the new slightly-dark romantic drama The Lovers, getting a limited release this week. The pair play Mary and Michael, a long-married couple whose relationship has grown comfortable and stale, predictable and uninspiring, with each one feeling like the other barely sees him or her. It’s gotten to the point where both are having affairs and are on the verge of leaving the marriage.

But then something happens and the pair find a spark that was long-thought dormant has been reignited. The two start essentially cheating on their lovers with their spouse, surprising them and causing problems in their extramarital affairs. That push and pull between what might be exciting and what’s newly refreshed creates the tension and comedy in the story.

The Posters

The poster does a decent job of setting up the premise of the story, with Winger and Letts sitting on opposite sides of a couch staring off at something, likely TV, each with a glass of wine in hand. It’s meant to show that they’ve drifted apart and are just existing together. The copy hints at how things turn out, though, by telling us it’s “A love so strong it can survive marriage.”

The Trailers

We meet Mary and Michael when the first trailer opens and see that their marriage is less than thrilling. Both, it turns out, are having affairs and are struggling with how to finally break off there marriage to be with their other lovers. One day they find themselves reconnecting, making plans, flirting and so on. That causes problems in their other relationships and the rest of the trailer is about them coming to terms with the situations they find themselves in.

It’s kind of a fun trailer, showing interesting performances from both Winger and Letts as a pair that’s surprised by this strange turn of events. The story is pretty basic – we’ve seen this before – but it looks well executed and interesting.

Online and Social

Unfortunately, there’s not much to the movie’s web presence. It’s just a page on the A24 site that has the trailer, a synopsis and the poster.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing here. There might be some online ads targeted to the markets the movie is released in as it’s rolled out but there was no big ad spending going on.

Media and Publicity

The movie was one of those announced as screening at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, where it garnered pretty solid buzz and word of mouth. That was about it, at least prior to release, without any major press push featuring either Winger or Letts.


This obviously isn’t the biggest campaign of the month or week but it still works, especially for those members of the audience who are attuned for smaller character dramas as this one appears to be. The focus is clearly on Letts and Winger, who each show that they’re turning in great work as the distant married couple who finds that happiness appears to be right in front of them, the last place they were going to look.

Since it’s not a huge push it’s hard to gauge how consistent it is with itself. But the poster and trailer both feature a pleasant, lived in feel that’s covered in browns and other earth tones. The beige shirts that both characters wear exude the feel of the marketing, which shows a colorless existence that’s only brought to life by embracing the situation you’re in. If nothing else, the campaign makes it clear we need more Debra Winger in the movies.

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