Always Be My Maybe – Marketing Recap

always be my maybe posterAli Wong and Randall Park play childhood friends Sasha and Marcus in the new Netflix original Always Be My Maybe, which Park also cowrote. Sasha and Marcus haven’t seen each other for years until the two are reunited, now as adults. She’s now a massive success while he’s working as a repairman for his father.

The two had dated briefly in high school and find their romance being rekindled all these years later. But not only have the two gone on to other loves and affairs, but the very different social and economic worlds they live in presents a potential hindrance to a successful relationship.

The Posters

The movie’s poster is certainly colorful, with bright stripes dividing it into thirds vertically. Sasha and Marcus stand on opposite sides, their hands reaching out but not quite touching. Copy reading “There’s always been something between them” takes a phrase usually associated with a romantic connection and adds the literal meaning, that something has always kept them apart from one another. It’s a nice play on words.

The Trailers

The first teaser was released by Netflix on Instagram in late April at the same time the company announced a release date. In that teaser we see Marcus and Sasha have been friends since childhood but that Marcus now wants more, about to admit his love for her. That’s complicated when she tells him all about the amazing new guy she just met and has started seeing. Throughout the video the appeal is made that it comes from Wong’s creative mind, a major selling point particularly given the popularity of her stand-up specials on Netflix.

The second trailer offers a bit more full picture of the story. It starts off with Sasha, showing how successful she’s become as a celebrity chef but how satisfied she is with her uninterested fiancee. When a new restaurant opening in San Francisco brings her back into touch with Marcus things get awkward and we see a flashback to their younger days. They start hanging out again and it’s clear Marcus is still in love with her, but she is getting back into the dating world, including meeting a guy that…well…yeah.

Online and Social

Nope, as is usual.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Also nothing, but that usually changes after release.

Media and Publicity

The two stars were interviewed about working together and the movie’s story around the same time the first teaser was released. They also both spoke later on about reuniting on the movie and what it was like to have a largely fale crew working behind the scenes.

After the full trailer dropped stories like this started circulating about how the filmmakers convinced Keanu Reeves to make a small appearance in a key role.

How they went about creating the film and how unique it was in featuring an Asian-American couple that was not only funny but romantic was the focus of this profile.

Wong appeared on “Ellen” while Park got a profile all his own that touched on his friendship with Wong and how this is part of him carving out his own career path.

Overall

While the Keanu thing provided a big publicity bump for the movie’s campaign, the entire thing is just wonderful. It’s unique and familiar at the same time and Park and Wong are both talented performers whose friendship is evident through their on-screen chemistry. It’s not a campaign that will blow anyone’s socks off, but by being released on Netflix it avoids the expectations that have dogged other recent big-screen rom-coms like Long Shot. The movie will be there a month from now when you finally get around to it, which is exactly what needs to happen.

Picking Up the Spare

While there were additional interviews like this with Wong and Park where they talked about how they felt responsible for bringing more stories of Asian characters to film, much of the press focused on how the pair were able to recruit Reeves for his cameo, something the internet has been obsessed with. 

The pair of creators were interviewed again about how they made the movie. Wong also appeared on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to further promote the movie while Park was interviewed on “The Daily Show.”  

A Netflix featurette had Wong and Park looking at real life couples who recreated photos of their childhood friendships. There was also a blooper reel that hit showing the leads breaking up and otherwise goofing around as well as a video explaining what signs might be present if you’re in love with your best friend and the leads having a bit of fun playing silly games. 

Given the attention the eyeware has received, it’s only natural the designers of the glasses sported by Wong’s character finally got their own profile. 

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