In a strange marketing stunt for Deadpool 2, 20th Century Fox created a Blockbuster video store popup in London. To kick off the movie’s release to DVD, they filled the store with 1,989 copies of the movie, in special VHS tape-style cases.
The DVDs were given away free to anyone who displayed an old Blockbuster card or a “superpower.” The chain, which had 9,000 stores worldwide and 528 in UK, closed their last UK location five years ago. There is now only one Blockbuster store remaining – in Bend, OR. The marketers for Deadpool channeled 90s kids nostalgia for Blockbuster to generate excitement for the DVD release.
Leigh Debbage, the creative director for the campaign, described the brainstorming process:
Approaching Deadpool is incredibly liberating – unlike many PR campaigns all rules are out the window, restraints are off and pretty much anything goes, the more bizarre and leftfield the better.
How would Deadpool tackle a Blu-ray, DVD and digital download PR campaign? He loves nostalgia – from Wham to Salt ‘n’ Pepa – but is also very progressive. He has an ego the size of juggernaut and of course a legendary mischievous side. He’d probably just create a store that only stocked Deadpool 2.
This unusual ad campaign wasn’t the only weird promotion for the film. Twentieth Century Fox created a billboard with just skull and poop emojis and the letter “L,” as well as a variety of misleading, rom-com style movie posters, a “Believe in Your Selfie” pop-up in New York City, and branded toilet seat covers at San Diego Comic Con.
— Deadpool Movie (@deadpoolmovie) July 20, 2018
The marketing for the film has proved successful. In its opening weekend, it generated more profit than any other R-rated movie except for its predecessor, Deadpool, and to date, has generated over $318 million, proving that, if it fits your brand, weird works.