When brilliant marketing creates anticipation: Zoolander 2

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Movie marketing, at least in India, has become quite predictable. Release of an ‘action poster’, audio release, teasers, trailers, participation in TV programmes (especially as a judge on a talent show), social media promotions & contests are all common now. Even in Hollywood, it is common for actors to make the rounds of late night TV shows and give interviews to entertainment channels and so on.

In this context, the marketing of Zoolander 2 caught my attention primarily because of the seamless integration between the movie’s central theme and the promotions themselves. It helps of course to have the fashion & entertainment world as the central theme in the movie so that its promotions in fashion magazines and events almost seem like regular content.

The standouts for me were these:

Walking the runway for Valentino:

Print & video ads for No.2 perfume

zoolander No 2

Fashion shoot for Vogue


It is said that good advertising cannot sell a bad product – it remains to be seen if the ‘product’ delivers. Some Hindi films though seem to defy this rule – some downright atrocious films have gone on to rake in millions on the back of a promotional blitzkreig. I guess the thinking is that unlike consumer goods where repeat purchase is required for success, all it takes is to get lots of consumers to pay once for the film. However, we have all come across heavily promoted films which disappoint. For film makers, there is no option but to promote their films heavily and build anticipation. With Zoolander 2, that’s been a roaring success. The fact that the central theme of the film blends well with the environment in which it is promoted helps a lot.

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