Infinite – Marketing Recap

How Paramount+ is selling a time-twisting action movie.

Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Antoine Fuqua, is the first non-Spongebob movie to make its debut on the Paramount+ streaming service, arriving there later this week. As such it represents something of a statement on the part of Paramount, indicating the platform is for more than kids programming, library content and a few prestige series.

Wahlberg stars as Evan McCauley, a man haunted by recurring visions and confused when he finds he has skills he’s never trained for or practiced. One day he’s tracked down by a mysterious group calling themselves Infinites, who tell him these are memories and skills he’s accumulated in past lives. The group needs his help to track down others like them who are determined to end life on Earth. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sophie Cookson and Jason Mantzoukas among others also star.

The Posters

Just one poster (by marketing agency Bond) for the film. Released in late May, it shows McCauley behind concentric circles that ultimately form an infinity symbol in order to reinforce the title’s branding. There’s no text or other copy to explain the story, so either the studio felt it was too hard to explain on the one-sheet or that Wahlberg’s presence was enough to generate audience interest.

The Trailers

Ted Murray (Ejiofor) is talking with McCauley about the voices McCauley hears and more as the first trailer (10.7 million views on YouTube), released at the end of May, begins. Murray taunts McCauley with a series of random objects until he finally triggers McCauley’s memories. Just as that happens a car bursts through the interrogation room wall and we’re off to the races. We hear about how McCauley is an Infinite and how unlocking his past will offer a guide for his future.

The second trailer (3.6 million views on YouTube) came out just a week later and begins with clips from the same interrogation scene mixed with shots of McCauley’s unremarkable but slightly confusing life. This time it’s Tammy McCauley (Cookson) who provides the backstory exposition before we get to lots more chases and fight sequences in exotic locales around the world. Oh, and we finally see the real draw of the movie, which is Mantzoukas’ unhinged tech guy performance.

Online and Social

Nothing here that was specific to the movie, but it was given some support — though not as much as recent high-profile series and other material — on Paramount+’s brand social profiles.

Advertising, Press and Publicity

In May Paramount announced the movie, originally scheduled for theatrical release August of last year but pushed because of the coronavirus pandemic, would instead bypass theaters and debut exclusively on Paramount Plus. An actual release date was finally revealed in May, just about two weeks before that date.

IGN debuted an exclusive first photo from the movie in late May in conjunction with the release of the first trailer.

A short promo was released at the end of May that presents many of the main characters and sets up the presence of a mystery that spans lifetimes and eons. It’s meant to be serious and important but it comes off a bit silly, like some kind of futuristic wrestling match

Taking a more traditional approach is another TV spot-like video that features an off-screen voice explaining to Evan how he’s lived countless lifetimes and is crucial to the future of the world.


I’m not sure how much of the marketing materials here were set and ready a while ago when the movie was originally scheduled for late 2020, but the tight timeframe mandated by how it’s been less than two months since a new release strategy was announced doesn’t help the campaign much. Everything feels rushed and breezed over, when a story like this typically benefits from taking a bit longer so some of the more ridiculous plot points can be ironed out and explained.

That extremely-condensed campaign is filled with sci-fi speak in what appears to be an attempt to position it as something similar to Inception, but there’s not enough of the story on display to create those stakes. Fuqua’s directing, then, might be the most engaging element of the marketing.

The Equalizer 2 – Marketing Recap

Denzel Washington winks at his history of avoiding sequels in the campaign for THE EQUALIZER 2.

equalizer 2 posterFor the first time in his career, Denzel Washington adds a sequel to his filmography. The actor has, for whatever reason, refrained from doing so in the past, though some of his movies certainly warranted one. That sequel is The Equalizer 2, the follow-up to the 2014 film based on the classic TV show of the same name.

In both movies, Washington plays Robert McCall, a former government operative with a knack for clearing rooms of threats quickly and a soft spot for those down on their luck or facing abuse of some kind. When he finds out Susan Plummer (Melissa Leo), a former colleague who he’s kept in touch with, has been attacked by highly-skilled agents he sets out on a vendetta to find out who they are and make sure justice is served.

The Posters

Denzel’s face glares out at the audience from a Roman numeral II, showing both the intensity of the character and reinforcing that this is the second film in the series. “There is no equal” is the tagline used, which is something that could be applied to both the character and the actor himself.

The Trailers

McCall is on a train in Turkey as the trailer opens, engaging in some verbal taunting of the tough guys who have kidnapped a little girl, tough guys he dispatches with relative ease. Things get personal when he returns home and one of his oldest – and only – friends is attacked despite her being far off the radar. That makes his next mission one of not just justice but revenge as he realizes the attack could only have been the work of someone inside the agency they both work for. After all that it’s just a series of action sequences showing how deadly McCall is.

Washington is so good he embues, even in the trailer, a role like this with more gravitas and emotion than most other actors who have either discovered action films late in their career or who have stayed in the genre well past when they should have left it. The story isn’t exactly original – a variation on the “This time it’s personal” theme – but Fuqua and Washington are good enough to elevate the material.

The second trailer gets to that same story, but only after doing a little more setup work showing McCall passes the time as a Lyft driver who also helps avenge those he comes across who have been wronged. That inclusion makes the story of him seeking out justice for his friend even stronger.

Just a couple days before the movie hit theaters, Sony released a short “Music Trailer” featuring largely the same scenes and material but with the song “In the Name of Love” from Jacob Banks turned up a bit more prominently in the mix.

Online and Social

The landing page of the movie’s official website opens with full-screen video interrupted by prompts to buy tickets and links to its Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles.

Most of what’s included in the top content menu is the standard “Synopsis,” “Trailer,” and “Gallery” material. In addition to that are sections with the “NBA Audition Videos” that were used as TV spots (more on those below) and the “Twitch: Solo Squad Showdown,” which appears to have been a movie-sponsored tournament on the streaming channel.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

TV advertising kicked off with a spot that aired during the NBA Finals featuring Washington talking about how he doesn’t do sequels and that instead the studio should audition NBA stars to take on his role. That specific campaign continued with a whole series of commercials featuring different NBA players like Dwight Howard, Lonzo Ball, Paul George and others, including one with various players offering their own catchphrase suggestions.

Some of the videos were used as social ads while the key art was used for online banners and other units, all leading to the website for people to buy tickets.

Media and Publicity

Things kicked off on the press front when Washington showed up on “Kimmel” to talk about the movie, basketball, the Oscars and lots more.

Washington, Leo and others from the cast also participated in Twitter Q&As, Reddit AMAs and other online fan interactions. There were also a few other interviews and appearances, some including Fuqua, but that’s about it.


It really seems as though Sony is relying heavily on the paid campaign to generate awareness of the movie as opposed to engaging in a significant earned media push. In particular, the studio seems to believe the core audience is sports fans of some kind or another, either NBA aficionados or those more interested in e-sports. It’s almost like the decision was made to sell this as a testosterone-fueled revenge flick that offers a stark contrast to the more nerd-centric super hero movies.

Washington seems to be having some measure of fun, at least as much as I’ve seen him have in some recent campaign, relaxing a bit by returning to a character and even poking some fun at his unwillingness to do so previously. That’s good and he’s allowed to loosen up a bit from time to time. Whether that charm is enough to convince people to turn out to theaters for a story that’s more personal than many other action franchises remains to be seen.


A new spot hits a theme that wasn’t emphasized very strongly in the earlier campaign, that of the mentor/mentee relationship between Robert and Miles.


More from costar Ashton Sanders on what it was like to work with Denzel Washington and learn from the veteran actor.


The IMAX poster is much cooler than what was used more generally, showing just Washington’s torso with a tie that takes the shape of Lady Justice.
Denzel Washington addressed directly how this is his first sequel and why he’s long avoided doing them and how he tried to bring the feeling and emotion back to the character. Also, he and costar Ashton Sanders talk here about their on-screen dynamic.