In the land of blockbuster films, marketing is king. A-list actors help promotion, some directors can pull audiences, but nothing beats the power of publicity. Two films, Star War: The Force Awakens and Suicide Squad, are both slated to come out within the next year. The former is scheduled to hit theaters at the end of 2015 and the latter is expected August 2016. Both films have marketing campaigns but each differs from the other. One could be said to have a tight grip on all aspects related to the publicity whereas the other has allowed a more viral tone to take their campaign.
Suicide Squad, releasing next summer, has allowed its fan base to take hold of their marketing. If you follow their Facebook page (here) you’ll find that it has a collection of fan created memes, created from the content released through their page. Along with that, the full cast list and a few plot points have also been released. Suicide Squad is allowing the community to create its own narrative around the film through social media. Not only are the superhero genre films ripe with interested parties, it doesn’t take much to stir up controversy amongst them. The marketing team is essentially inviting fans to create the narrative by being open to content being “leaked”. Amateur photographs and videos of set production gives the campaign a viral feel and helps introduce the new brand.
On the other hand, The Force Awakens could arguably be the most anticipated film of this year and the marketing campaign is more secure (here) especially when compared to that of David Ayer’s film. They have made sure that all the content released for the film only gives a glimpse of what is in store. At this point, the only story elements are the ones that can be surmised from repeated viewings of the trailers and publicized photographs. They do have a social media presence (here) but it can be said from comparison that The Force Awakens relies more on crafted professionally distributed content. Whereas Suicide Squad is relying on the fan base to build hype, The Force Awakens is relying on the strength of the brand to carry interest toward its Christmas release.