How ‘No Way Home’ Dominated the Social Media Marketing Game

Writer’s Note: Spoilers for “Spider-Man: No Way Home” Ahead.

Today, it’s hard to imagine a blockbuster movie hitting the big screen without an extensive promotional campaign. From interviews and commercials to teasers and trailers, production houses make sure that before the weekend of its release, everyone is talking about their film. That said, until not too long ago, movies didn’t consider a massive promotional campaign a priority, let alone a crucial part of their success.

Everything changed in 1975 when the “Jaws” marketing team released a attach that would reverberate around the world for years to come. At the time, “Jaws” seemed like a costly disaster, with the film taking 159 days to shoot, almost three times longer than expected, and its protagonist, a robot shark, barely working. In order to salvage what seemed like a lost cause, Universal, the production house behind “Jaws,” poured over $1.8 million into the film. marketing campaign — an amount that brought its production budget to $9 million, more than any other film released that year. The result: It became the first American film in history to cross the $7 millionpaving the way for how production houses market their films to date.

On January 17, exactly one month after its release, “Spider-Man: No Way Home” beat “Avengers: Infinity War” to become the fifth highest movie that grossed over $650 million at the US box office. Since February 3, he sits Fourth on the list of the highest-grossing films in the United States, earning over $730 million. Presumably, that $730 million will go a long way toward offsetting the $202 million Marvel spent on the film. marketing. While it’s common for movies to use the wide array of social media sites available to them for promotional purposes, the latest episode of The Misadventures of Peter Parker pulled out all the stops, raising the question: just how is marketing too much marketing?

The answer varies from situation to situation, but the marketing campaign for “No Way Home” certainly divided opinion before its release. Between the film’s Twitter and Instagram, the Official daily bugle TikTok and the countless interviews, trailers and promotion videos released by Sony and Marvel, fans were treated to a deluge of content in the weeks leading up to the film. In the 40 days leading up to its worldwide release, the film’s Instagram posted 59 posts and has posted another 63 since, averaging about three posts every two days. Even online communities far removed from the world of comic book movies have seen Tom Holland and Zendaya appear on their screens, with the duo making appearances at the golden ball (aka the World Soccer Oscars) and even to interview players from Tom Holland’s favorite football team. Spidey fan or not, if you were on the internet in the month leading up to the movie, you’ve at least heard of it.

There’s an argument to be made that such a broad and direct promotional campaign might discourage some viewers from avoiding it and potentially even the movie entirely. Before watching the film, LSA sophomore Arjun Arora said, “I haven’t seen any of the trailers. I don’t know… and I really like it. Nonetheless, both Marvel and Sony were well aware of who made up the majority of their fan base: the comic book community. A community that thrives on speculation, ardent fans of the webslinger and the Marvel Cinematic Universe have welcomed the barrage of movie posters and footage that Marvel and Sony have sent them. From Youtube at ICT TacThe internet was teeming with theories and predictions as fans scrutinized every image and explored every possibility to such an extent that the online community became pseudo marketing officials themselves.

What added to all the excitement was the leaks – an eventuality that Marvel and Sony, with all their experience over the years, knew to be inevitable. However, spoilers might have worked to their advantage this time around. People weren’t complaining about the amount of promotional content released, because with every piece of content that didn’t confirm their rumors and suspicions, the anticipation grew. For example, although Alfred Molina’s return (“The Da Vinci Code”) as Doc Ock was leak months before any real marketing began, Marvel and Sony were still able to capitalize on it. Between this leak and the release of the first film trailer, fan speculation regarding the return of not just Doc Ock, but also a litany of old Spider-Man villains, was sky-high. “No Way Home” obliged and, with said trailer, confirmed all the rumors that were circulating, resulting in the most to success 24 hour operation that a trailer has ever had. It was the perfect way to launch a marketing campaign that would stay flawless from start to finish.

Yes, a set of innovative posters would do. Even now, not all marketing campaigns need to be as visible as “No Way Home” was, and not all marketing campaigns require the use of social media. However, both Marvel and Sony have shown how beneficial it can be for a film’s success, both commercially and in terms of popularity. Not only that, they’ve proven that if your campaign is well-planned, bombarding fans with promotional content isn’t such a bad idea, especially when theory is one of their favorite pastimes. Peter Parker may be “public enemy #1” in the Spiderverse, but in the real world, the headlines loved him.

Daily art writer Rushabh Shah can be reached at [email protected]