Hustlers – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Hustlers at The Hollywood Reporter.

Online and Social

STX created a lackluster website for the movie that doesn’t offer much in the way of context or background on the story. The “About” synopsis doesn’t even link to the article that inspired it. There was, though, an interesting secondary site called Hustling In that, once you allowed it to access your location and uploaded a photo, shared a graphic on social media showing where you were hustling from.

Media and Press

Lopez appeared on “The Tonight Show” to debut the first trailer.

Writer/director Lorene Scafaria was interviewed about the commitment Lopez and the rest of the cast showed in prepping for production along with what kind of original story she was hoping to tell in the movie. Meanwhile Cardi B shared what kind of dancing advice she gave some of her costars.

A profile of Lopez covered much of her career to date had her sharing how she got involved with the movie, including how doing so is part of a surge of creativity she’s enjoying at the moment. An interview with Wu allowed her to talk about this movie and some of the other elements of her career lately.

While in Toronto for the movie’s premiere, Scarfaria was interviewed at length about the journey she’s been with the project over the last several years, including how it was dropped by Annapurna last year as part of its corporate realignment. Similar ground was covered in another interview. What’s notable is that this is at least the second recent movie directed by a woman where a key narrative in the press push has been that no one was interested in helping make the movie happen, something you don’t hear a lot about when it comes to male directors.

She also spoke about how she worked to make a movie about strippers that wasn’t designed for the male gaze but emphasized the power the women in the story had in a movie made for women.

There were lots of interviews with the cast and crew following the TIFF premiere. That included more from Lopez on the dancing in the film, how proud she was to have helped bring the story to the screen, the on-set solidarity that resulted from a largely female production team and more. The movie’s costume designer was interviewed about how she leaned on Cardi B for insights on how stripper’s clothes are meant to perform and talked again here about the costumes and look of the film.

Just days before it opened, Lopez stopped by “GMA” in Times Square to talk about the movie and more. A little before that, Wu made an appearance on “The Tonight Show” to have some fun with Fallon and Lopez showed up on “Late Night” as well.

EW featured a joint interview with Lopez and Wu just before the movie hit theaters.

Julia Stiles, who plays the journalist interviewing the dancers in the film, was completely absent from the campaign and made what seems to be only one appearance in the media push with an interview here.


Picking Up the Spare

Creating the look and feel of the movie was covered in this interview with the the costume designer and director of photography. Lopez and Wu spoke more about the bond they formed during production.

Julia Stiles, who plays the journalist interviewing the dancers in the film, was completely missing from the campaign prior to release but finally got at least one interview about her role.

The movie was the latest for which Entertainment Weekly created an exclusive Snapchat and Facebook lens.

There was lots – LOTS – of coverage devoted to how the filmmakers got Usher to make a cameo appearance as himself. Also getting plenty of notice was the attention paid to the music.

A professional stripper who served as a consultant on the film to keep things authentic was interviewed about her efforts. Meanwhile, Scafaria praised the performances of Cardi B and Lizzo and talked about how she approached framing the story.

Lopez made headlines and grabbed attention for hitting Versace’s runway wearing an updated version of her iconic green dress from 2000.

The movie came under fire for apparently not paying for the life rights to Samantha Barbas, the women who served as the inspiration for Ramona, Lopez’s character, but it’s not clear they needed that release.

Scafaria wrote a glowing appreciation of Lopez, praising her work ethic and talent.

Interesting examination of how STX went deep into audience data and habits to help give the movie a fighting chance at the box office. Along the same lines is a look at the partnership between the movie and Fandango.

Later on Scafaria shared a sizzle reel of compiled scenes she says inspired her and helped her land her job.

There’s another interview with Scafaria about the work she put into just trying to get the movie approved, much less made.

Author: Chris Thilk

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist with over 15 years of experience in online strategy and content marketing. He lives in the Chicago suburbs.

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