Deadpool electrified a genre, shocked Hollywood, and broke box office, Digital and Blu-ray/DVD records, thanks in no small part to the efforts of one man: Ryan Reynolds.
After all, not just anyone could celebrate the "merc with a mouth's" more colorful side – like his Mexican food addiction and unicorn obsession and still stay so damn sexy (and hilarious). Ryan's dedication to the authentic, outrageous character created a palpable excitement among fans. Who better to promote the film than a star who was genuinely excited about its release? Ryan embodied Deadpool with 100% commitment. Theatrical developed him as a character. Home Entertainment took him to another level.
By the time of the Home Entertainment campaign, fans had a clearer understanding of who Deadpool was – and what sort of ridiculous antics to expect from him. The campaign sought to leverage the strong connection between Ryan and the fans by using him as much as possible, while ensuring that the true character did not get lost in fanfare about the star. For many fans, Ryan IS Deadpool. Our goal was to take Ryan's involvement to the next level and give fans even more memorable content from their beloved "merc with a mouth."
The HE campaign set out to bring Ryan to the fans, reconnect him with Deadpool, and create new, engaging Deadpool content that both entertained and drove sales.
We began on April Fool's Day, of course, and partnered with Amazon to announce the fake "VHS and LaserDisc" release of the film. Ryan posted an image of the Deadpool VHS and LaserDisc across his social channels. Thousands of fans searched their garages for cobweb-covered VHS players. The film racked up more than 60,000 clicks on the pre-order link. Soon Deadpool became the #1 pre-ordered title on Amazon and iTunes in Fox History.
Ryan continued by re-posting and debuting some of the funniest Deadpool content to his millions of followers. He also posted fan submitted art. His generous encouragement (and genuine enthusiasm) prompted even more home artists to share their own work for the chance to get shared.
We amped up Ryan's participation with events like our Global Media & Fan Day. Ryan hosted a panel of his co-stars and producers for press and fans alike. Hundreds of thousands of fans participated through Facebook Livestream, where they could ask Ryan literally anything. The result was massive press coverage and over 1 million views on the stream itself which reached close to 2.5MM impressions on Facebook alone.
Ryan continued the tour with his appearance to accept the Best Comedic Performance honor at the MTV Movie Awards. He showed up on stage with none other than Salt n'Pepa and was flanked by a hoard of pole dancing Deadpools (obviously).
On Snapchat, we created an original lens that transformed fans into Deadpool, Ryan and other cast members were the first to try it. They posted photos of themselves using the lens to encourage fans to do the same. With his help, the lens had more than 30MM views in 24 hours. That's a whole lot of sexy red masks!
Perhaps one of the most scandalous and well-received aspects of the campaign was Deadpool's heavily shared long-form spot parodying an erectile dysfunction commercial. The "Deadpole" advert, which ran online and on TV, stared Ryan as Deadpool himself. Ryan shared the video on his own Facebook page, and it instantly became one of his most popular video ever – surpassing even previous posts from the theatrical marketing campaign. In all, the video got more than 15 million views online.
Ryan also created 20 other spots – each targeted to specific pop culture moments. It had everything from a basketball themed spot that aired during the NBA playoffs to a Captain America Civil War themed spot that was targeted to fans on Twitter and Facebook who liked the film or were conversing about it.
We capped it all off with the most meta (and utterly Deadpool) of stunts. In a move only this specific superhero could pull off: Deadpool broke the fourth wall and appeared in his own Honest Trailer. Take that, Wolverine.
Beyond the acclaim from critics, passion from fans, and general overwhelming enthusiasm everywhere, one stat stands out:
Deadpool is Fox's best-selling Digital HD title ever.
-2 million: Unique impressions on the Facebook Livestream, with 1MM watching the stream.
-5 million: Views on the Livestream when shared across Facebook's "Celebs and Movies" page. On Snapchat, the live stream had 1.6 million views.
-18 million: Online views for the long-form ad spot, "Deadpole," along with 28.3 million estimated impressions. When shared on Ryan Reynold's Facebook page, it generated another 3.6 million views. The spot was so popular that an "Extended Cut" was given exclusively to USA Today. It currently stands as the 2nd most viewed video on Facebook EVER!
-13.5 million: Views on the Honest Trailer, which became one of Screen Junkie's most watched trailers of all time.
Number aren't your thing? How about some fancy words? We received massive coverage across the web, with stories appearing on E! Online, The Hollywood Reporter, CNET, Huffington Post, MSN, AOL, Uproxx, Perez Hilton, Moviepilot, Slashfilm, Nerdist, BroBible, and more.
Oh, and then there's all the records the DVD sales have broken:
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