Picking Up the Spare: Keeping Up With the Joneses, Pirates of the Caribbean, Cars 3, The Big Sick

Keeping Up With the Joneses

  • I usually don’t cover developments after the movie is on home video, but you have to stand up and applaud 20th Century Fox for jumping on the Gal Gadot bandwagon by releasing a clip from last year’s under-performing comedy starring the now-hot actress.

The Big Sick

  • Director Michael Showalter wasn’t a huge part of the pre-release publicity efforts but finally gets a feature to himself that talks about how between this and his recent Hello, My Name Is Doris turn he’s on the cusp of a breakout.

Cars 3

  • Fullscreen Media is running a screening for the movie at VidCon, a massive event devoted to video production that’s happening now.
  • Promotions for the movie will continue into the summer, with Mattel offering an exclusive set that includes not only a finished McQueen car but also versions from earlier stages in the toy’s production.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

  • Saw this small poster hanging out on a table at my local AMC Theater. No idea how long they’ve been there but it was the movie’s third weekend and there were still plenty available.

Picking up the Spare: Band Aid, Wonder Woman

Band Aid

  • Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally and Fred Armisen have made a fun music video – including faux behind-the-scenes footage – to keep the Band Aid buzz going on.

Wonder Woman

  • John McCarthy at The Drum outlines some of the bigger beats in the marketing of the movie in more detail than I offered.

The Mummy

  • I didn’t mention this before, but the writing on the wall for the movie really appeared when most all of the press generated by Tom Cruise’s publicity tour was about the coming sequel to Top Gun, not the movie he was actually promoting. Had to kill Universal that their movie release cycle was mostly generating early buzz for a Paramount property.
  • Twitter has announced Wonder Woman is the most-Tweeted about movie of 2017 so far, with various sub-points to that news. Would also be interesting to see some sentiment analysis done around those numbers.

Picking up the Spare: Baywatch, War Machine, Wakefield, Wonder Woman


  • One thing I didn’t cover was the “Slo-Mo Marathon” that was run a few weeks ago. The V By Viacom blog (disclosure: I’ve done some freelance work for that site) has details on the nostalgia-driven mindset behind that effort.
  • Also, here’s the co-branded spot that Sprint ran to support the movie.
  • For a UK promotional stunt, Paramount created what has been certified as the world’s largest beach ball and floated it down the Thames.

Wonder Woman

  • Another incredible poster was released by director Patty Jenkins just a couple days before release.
  • A UK promotion involved Vue Entertainment partnering with artist Elizabeth E. Schuch to turn fan-submitted photos into Wonder Woman-inspired storyboard-like artwork.
  • Google, through its Made With Code program, has released a new project for the up-and-coming female coders its educating that will unlock exclusive movie content.

War Machine

  • Brad Pitt and director David Michod have been making the press rounds a bit doing interviews like this to promote the movie, which is available on Netflix now.


  • The movie’s director Robin Swicord talks about her experiences in the Hollywood system, including how it took her 10 years to get another gig after directing her first movie and the gender politics behind that.

Picking Up the Spare: Going In Style, Colossal, The Circle

Going in Style

  • I missed these in advance of release, but Warner Bros. created a bunch of posters that put the trio from this movie in shots reminiscent of the one-shots for the Fast and Furious movies. These aren’t great and fit into the basic idea of what I was talking about in my post on how movie marketing is becoming increasingly self-referential.


  • It’s a bit late in the cycle, but Jason Sudeikis and Anne Hathaway have been hitting the late night talk show circuit to talk up the movie.
  • Neon released a new trailer titled “Giant Robot” that spoils the climactic showdown that takes place toward the end of the movie. It sells the movie as a much more traditional monster movie, though the unique character-based sense of humor still shows through. Still, I’m glad this didn’t come out before the movie was released.

The Circle

  • I missed it at first but NowThis News created a video (possibly a series) about the real-world privacy issues that are amplified and at the core of the story in the movie.

Picking Up the Spare: Hidden Figures, Win It All

Hidden Figures

  • Google is promoting more details of its partnership with the movie, including offering a free digital copy of it to certain groups who host a coding and viewing party in their communities.

Win It All

  • Seems there was a poster for the movie after all, though I swear it didn’t appear until days after I published my column. It’s pretty basic, just a photo of Johnson with some dice around to convey the gambling theme. His and Swanberg’s name both appear at the top and the bottom conveys that it’s now streaming on Netflix.

Iron Man 3

  • OK, I didn’t cover the movie’s campaign (it was during my MMM hiatus), it’s notable that while a lawsuit has been dismissed Marvel is still going to have to explain why one of the posters is so similar to one featured in an independent comic book from 2001.

Picking Up the Spare: Power Rangers, Get Out, Beauty and the Beast

Get Out

Power Rangers

  • Lionsgate partnered with Thirst Project on a promotion that had the studio donating to clean water efforts around the country every time fans Tweeted using any of the color-coded Power Ranger custom Twitter emojis.
  • I totally missed that KrispyKreme had done some pretty extensive cross-promotion for the movie in addition to the product placement it received within the story. The Wrap has a recap of those efforts.

Beauty and the Beast

  • Rebecca Ford at THR goes deep on the high-end consumer merchandise that was created by promotional partners for the movie and which is selling at various retailers to try and cash in on nostalgia among childhood fans of the original who now have disposable income.

Picking Up the Spare: Deadpool, La La Land, Fifty Shades Darker, Kong



  • The campaign for Deadpool won the top slot at this year’s Publicist Guild awards for the fun, irreverent tactics employed to get people to come out for a movie starring a largely unknown, foul-mouthed anti-hero.
  • OK, this isn’t related to the first movie and it’s officially *not* a teaser for the sequel, but you can’t miss this Deadpool short that ran in front of Logan this past weekend.

La La Land

  • A Lionsgate marketing exec offers commentary on the movie’s poster campaign to explain just what they were trying to do with this aspect of the campaign.

Fifty Shades Darker

  • Universal Pictures created a Snapchat filter that let people don the masks that are featured in the movie’s masquerade ball and which formed a large chunk of the marketing.

Kong: Skull Island

  • A couple new trailers popped in the last few days, one that applies a 1930’s veneer to the film and includes big blocks of text similar to what would appear in trailers of that era and one that’s pretty much more of the same, just with some big plot points explicitly laid out. The second one is tonally different from the others mostly in the use of some sort of dubstep or other track as opposed to the other, more period-appropriate music used previously.

  • Madame Tussauds in New York City and London created movie-themed exhibits featuring recreations of some of the characters and the titular ape.

  • Apparently massive ape footprints were placed in strategic locations around the Los Angeles area, with all those locations accessible via the crowd-sourced navigation app Waze as well.

Picking Up the Spare: Lion, A Cure For Wellness



An ad for the movie was taken out in the Los Angeles Times that denounced (gag) Pres. Trump’s travel and visitation ban, making it clear that the production of the movie might not have taken place had the order been in place then. It’s a decent political statement that also doubles as Oscar-timed promotion and reminder for people to see it if they haven’t already.

A Cure For Wellness

Fox has apologized for the fake news sites it created to promote the movie, blaming faulty internal checks and balances for this one slipping through the approvals process. That’s a good move and certainly necessary. I want to believe it’s sincere but have seen too many instances of companies intentionally throwing grenades in order to get headlines, then apologizing after the buzz has already doubled or tripled because of a stunt. I’ll give Fox the benefit of the doubt here, but any marketer worth his or her salt should know that unless it’s clearly labeled as such, “fake” anything is a tactic likely only to get you into trouble and do serious reputational damage.

Picking Up the Spare: Rogue One, The LEGO Batman Movie, La La Land


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

  • The Chicago Auto Show is underway and Nissan has brought its Rogue One-inspired vehicle there. More details on the where and why here.

La La Land

  • There’s a new motion poster that touts the awards nominations and other accolades the movie has racked up recently.

The LEGO Batman Movie

  • Watch to the end of this version of the opening theme for “The Big Bang Theory” and you’ll see the custom LEGO animation done to help promote Batman’s latest big-screen outing.

Picking Up the Spare: 20th Century Women, Split, The Comedian


20th Century Women

  • Not sure how I missed this, but writer/director Mike Mills worked with A24 to create a streaming radio station playing nothing but music from 1979, the year the movie is set.


The Comedian

  • Now I’m starting to see a lot of online ads that use elements of the key art as well as just images of De Niro doing his standup routine, all of which include a “buy tickets now” prompt.