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X-Men: Apocalypse

Movies and Marketing: My Thoughts

GeorgeTaylor GeorgeTaylor Marketing plays a vital role in the build up and release of movies, and is an ever present force within the movie industry. It is arguably one of the most important aspects of a movie, as with a failed marketing plan, in any case, usually ends up causing lower returns for the brand, business, movie or studio in this case.

The marketing efforts

In the run up to any movie release the studio are likely to tick off the primary forms of marketing for their movie, be it billboards and posters, TV adverts, online trailers, the actors doing promotional activities such as interviews and appearances and so on. However, this year has seen some of the best, most bizarre and in one particular case, most controversial marketing efforts recently seen.

Deadpool's marketing

One of the most foul-mouthed and outrageous comic book movies we have had yet graced our screens this year, and was a financial success across the board, primarily due to the fact that this was such an anticipated adaptation of the character, but this was also partly due to its marketing. The marketing efforts for this movie were brilliant, but I am going to focus briefly on the posters in this article.

Deadpool....Get it?
Deadpool....Get it?

Case in point, the image above. A combination of emojis that many young people will understand, a main demographic reach for Deadpool, it's funny, eye catching and requires the observer to really think about it and what it means.

The main debate and issue

However, this article and myself are more interested in the controversial side of marketing movies this year; and that undeniably goes to X Men: Apocalypse and its poster of Apocalypse strangling Mystique. Some people have titled it as 'misogynistic', meaning that it is prejudiced against women and may be seen as offensive. In my view, I do not think it is any of that at all.

The controversial poster
The controversial poster

Actor Ross McGowan called out the image for its 'causal violence' and thought that it was a damaging image, and thinking that; "casual violence against women is the way to market a film" and also that "there is no context in the add, just a women getting strangled." In my view, I think that is all nonsense. The context is right there, in large bold letters 'X-MEN APOCALYPSE'. It shows a scene in the movie, (which is part of an overall excellent sequence) where Apocalypse is representing his power, but apparently this is still wrong. A damaging image? No. It is entirely fictitious, a scene from a movie based in a non-real world where mutants live among humans, people fly, teleport, shape-shift and can control the world more or less. It merely shows the main villain strangling an X-Men member and represents the conflict that runs throughout the entire movie. Maybe it was a bit too aggressive as some have said (not at all in my opinion) but lets consider other posters.

12 Days of Deadpool Kicks Off With a New Poster
12 Days of Deadpool Kicks Off With a New Poster

This poster contains a rather obvious sexual innuendo. But I did not hear of any complaints about this one, not that I care about what it says, but I can see why some would of complained. Again, this poster showcases the main character and his humour and the charisma of the movie, like all posters normally do, such as the X-Men Apocalypse one does.

Fifty Shades of Grey Poster
Fifty Shades of Grey Poster

This is a main one. This movie's poster contains a highly sexual situation, where a women is being pinned against a wall with the blokes hand also around her neck partly. Yes, it is not as in your face with the hand around the neck as Apocalypse's was, but to be frank it features a male character with their hand partly/around the women's neck and is being held against the wall. So this poster is fine? They are different I know that, but they both show a similar action done by a male. Yet, I do not recall hearing any outcry about this (though the film did anyway for its context and story), but I do not understand how this was fine and X-Men's is not. A dominant male being forceful and pinning her against the wall and partly having his hand round her neck is fine, but the latter is not? It would be interesting to see whether there would be outcry if the X-Men poster was of Mr. Grey and Anna, Grey strangling her. My opinion, I do not think so.


These where just my thoughts and views on this situation. I do not see anything wrong with the X-Men poster at all. Just the main villain strangling another character in the movie. The debate and growing views about equality is a growing one in regard to female and male equality, but this was a fictitious movie and just showed a scene from it, nothing else. Apparently sexual innuendos and men being dominant sexually on women is fine to put on a poster, but because the X-Men poster was more up front about it, it was taken down and several people were angry about it. All nonsense in my opinion. They are just movie posters and are made to get your attention, ask questions about what happens in the movie, and whether or not you would like to go and see it to see what else happens. I think the poster was fine, just my view.

Posted in Movie Marketing,

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