Posted in Blog, Branding, social media, Transmedia Communication, Uncategorized

Advertising Hype for Suicide Squad

I saw the first Suicide Squad trailer like most people – leaked footage from the 2015 Comic Con. I’m ashamed of myself. It felt like a dirty one night stand, I wish I’d held off for the official release but FOMO hit me hard and I was so excited!

Trailers have made a habit of leaving no mystery for films, but I must say I loved each trailer for Suicide Squad, even with the abrupt tonal change between trailer 1 and trailer 2 (I would’ve preferred the film depicted in trailer 1 for what it’s worth).

Flashback image of myself dressed as Harley Quinn for my 21st birthday and my friends dressed as Poison Ivy, Catwoman, the Huntress and Bat Girl
Flashback: with a Batman theme for my 21st, I went as Harley Quinn.

Raging Harley Quinn fans (myself included) were losing their minds to finally see a real life adaption of the character since her debut in Batman the Animated Series (1992).

Random Fact: through research for this article I did find Birds of Prey,with Ferris Bueller star Mia Sara as Harley. It looks terrible! Pretty sure I need to see it now.

Of course the advertising capitalised on the introduction of Harley Quinn, played by the amazing Australian actress Margot Robbie. It then focused on the much anticipated return of the Joker. And then when you don’t trust the DC fandom enough you pump the engine on the star power, I’m not necessarily judging the casting, I’m saying the big wigs at the studio pushed the bejesus out of character and casting.

Exhibit A: The instagram account.

suicide squad instagram logo marketing social media joker harley quinn
“What are we? Some kind of Will Smith movie?”

Hello… Story? Narrative? Are you there?
Nope, just a bunch of cool looking people doing cool looking things. Somewhat reflective of the film, don’t ya think? #notthatthereisanythingwrongwiththat

There are many documented issues happening within the DC cinematic universe (Nerdist sums it up pretty well) and it breaks my heart. But the marketing for Suicide Squad has been pretty much consistent across all channels, and this consistency has enabled a strong brand equity and a pretty firm grounding for fans to lose their minds with excitement.

Each person involved in the film was active in their own social media profiles promoting the film. While I’m sure a level of this was contractually obliged, you can sense a level of joy from them being involved. And where there is joy, there is likely to be at least fun.

The negative reviews didn’t seem to have a mass effect on audiences as the hype allowed a sense of intrigue, potentially heightened by the bad reviews.

So many things worked in favour for Suicide Squad in their marketing, that I wonder if good marketing and PR (and casting) will help save the DC world from total annihilation (Dear God, I hope Ben Affleck can save the next Batman film).

Side note: after listening to  /filmcast it’s interesting to note that the theatrical film version was re-edited by the company that edited the trailer. Showing a clear prominence in the perception of film through the lens of marketing, seemingly to the detriment of artistic expression.

What did you think of the marketing and Suicide Squad? Are you like this guy and wanted to sue?

Leave a comment or get in touch and let me know!




Marketing Communications professional with a love of film and theatre. Enjoys rollerskating, comic books and daydreaming of Batman.

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