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Lessons from Deadpool: How to successfully localize your marketing campaign

Deadpool Makes a Splash in Dubai 1 (1)


Lessons from Deadpool: How to successfully localize your marketing campaign

Who knew the potty-mouthed antithetical superhero could actually teach us all some valuable lessons?

Amid all the Deadpool 2 hype in Dubai, some passers-by spotted the superhero taking a plunge at the famous waterfall in Dubai Mall.

The agency behind the idea was Dubai-based Livingroom Communication.

“For Deadpool 2, there was a real focus on creating culturally relevant campaigns that spoke to audiences in each market,” Ashleigh Potts, head of marketing at Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas Film Distribution, tells Communicate.

“The first Deadpool movie performed exceptionally well in the UAE with Deadpool developing a strong fan following. It was important to delight fans with something that was locally relevant and different the second time around,” she adds.

The idea behind the stunt was to do “something so unique that would gather worldwide attention,” explains Potts. And indeed it did with Ryan Reynolds posting the image on Instagram garnering over 1.2 million likes.

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Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world, and its iconic waterfall together, made sense as “We thought that combining these two elements would entertain not only locals who live in Dubai but the millions of people around the world who have visited the waterfalls on a trip to the UAE,” adds Potts.

In addition to the stunt, the marketing team went all out with a regional campaign that includes TV, outdoor, radio and digital advertising as well as the below:

  • Comic Con UAE where visitors could visit a replica of his living room and see the Deadpool costume
  • Competitions in collaboration with Reel, Novo Cinemas, VOX and Roxy
  • Partnership with Careem wherein the region ride-hailing app turned one of its car types into a Deadpool car and those who it a Deadpool would go into a draw to win tickets to the premiere. Plus, during the week, if a member rode in the car with Deadpool himself – a mannequin sitting in the front seat wearing the Deadpool suit – and took a selfie, tickets to watch Deadpool in 4DX were instantly won

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  • Deadpool also partnered with VOX Cinemas and du telecom for the premiere
  • Strategic partner Virgin Radio gave away tickets to listeners and held roadshows at VOX Cinemas where fans could come down to the cinema to win tickets and merchandise
  • One die-hard Cosplay fan dressed in the official Deadpool suit and went on a media tour around the UAE inviting media to the premiere
  • Local media were also flown over to the press junket in London to interview Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin and Zazie Beetz

Lesson No. 1:

Pull off a stunt that gets everyone talking – in the region and outside of it.

Lesson No. 2:

Don’t rely only on social and digital.

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Lesson No. 3:

Different audiences, different media channels. A breadth of activities across activations, TV, outdoor, digital, etc. ensure you’re capturing the attention of different audience segments at all times.

Lesson No. 4:

Getting the right local partners. Tie-ups with Careem, Virgin Radio, du, etc. are a smart way to not only capture the attention of audiences, but also engage them through strategic partnerships with brands that already have a high engagement level with their audiences.

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