Coming 2 America – Marketing Recap

How Amazon is selling a much-anticipated and long-gestating comedy sequel.

To say there’s a fair amount of pent-up demand for Coming 2 America, the sequel to the 1988 original, a bonafide comedy classic, would be a significant understatement. 30+ years later, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall return as Akeem and his friend and confidant Semmi, respectively. Akeem, having raised a family over the years, has now ascended to the throne of Zamunda but learned from his dying father (James Earl Jones) that he has a son he never knew back in America. So he and Semmi make their way back to Queens to connect with Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) and, of course, engage in other hijinks.

Craig Brewer takes over directorial duties from John Landis, and the movie also stars Leslie Jones, Tracy Morgan, Kiki Layne, Wesley Snipes and a host of others both new and returning. With a disappointing 52% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon Studios’ campaign has sought to sell it as both familiar and new.

The Posters

The first teaser poster (by marketing agency BLT Communications) came out in mid-December, simply showing Akeem looking joyfully out the window of his royal limousine with a highway sign pointing to New York seen in the reflection of the window.

In early February the theatrical poster came out, evoking the design of the original but with a lot more characters spread around the layout. In fact it looks more like the poster for an MCU or other super hero movie than a mid-level comedy. Whatever the case, it works by presenting a big-name cast, all apparently having a great time.

A first batch of character posters focusing on Akeem, Semmi, Lisa and King Jaffe.

A second batch offered looks at Akeem and Lisa’s daughters as well as Lisa’s father and Lavelle.

The third and final batch added General Izzy and others to the mix.

The Trailers

The first trailer (14.7m views on YouTube) came out in late December and immediately establishes where we’re at in terms of Akeem’s story. His dying father has informed him he has a son in America and so, despite Semmi’s reluctance, the two are once again headed back to Queens to find the now-adult boy. There are lots of new characters briefly introduced, but the centerpiece, of course, is the return of the barbershop crew as well as others played by Murphy and Hall in various amounts of makeup. It’s glorious.

The second trailer (20.6m views on YouTube), released in early February, goes a little deeper into the story but hits many of the same beats. We see a bit more of how General Izzi wants to take over Zamumda and some of the hijinks that happen once they get Akeem’s son back to the country. It’s the same basic message, just fleshed out a bit.

Online and Social

No stand-alone informational website I could find, but Amazon did create social profiles like this Twitter page for the movie to share promos and other updates.

Advertising and Publicity

The movie going into production was officially announced in early January, with Murphy returning and director Craig Brewer behind the camera, the latter of which got people’s attention in a big way. Casting news – including new and returning actors – were the focus for a while after that.

In October news came that wasn’t wholly surprising given the pandemic situation. Specifically, it was reported Paramount was finalizing a deal to sell the movie to Amazon since a theatrical release date was uncertain at best. That deal was officially sealed in November, with Amazon giving it a spring release date.

It was revealed just a couple weeks ago that Amazon planned to advertise the film during the upcoming Super Bowl. That spot is essentially a cut down version of the second trailer, pulling out some of the bigger jokes and plot points.

The soundtrack, with a new song from Bobby Sessions and Megan Thee Stallion, came out earlier this month.

Morgan, Jones and others from the cast showed up in a reworked version of the Soul Glo commercial from the original.

Amazon Studios scheduled a watch party, sponsored by Pepsi, for Friday 3/5 and encouraged the audience to get in on the action by dressing up and sharing their party lewks and plans online.

Additional promotional partners included

  • Rent The Runway, which offered a coupon code tied to the movie.
  • The Brooklyn Nets, which promoted the movie in a series of Tweets during a recent game.
  • Spotify, which created character-specific playlists to help introduce them to the audience.
  • HSTRY Clothing, which created a movie-inspired clothing collection.
  • Crown Royal, which offered a new movie-branded package designed by costume designer Ruth E. Carter.

Media and Press

Murphy continued talking about the movie while promoting Dolemite Is My Name through the end of 2019. And Layne commented briefly on it while promoting The Old Guard in mid-2020. Similarly, Jones mentioned it during an interview about other projects in October.

A handful of stills were finally released in late December, just before the trailer came out.

An interview with Fowler was part of EW’s 2021 Movie Preview, with the actor talking about how excited he was to be part of the sequel.

Ruth E. Carter was interviewed about crafting the look of the characters at about the same time she became the first Black costume designer to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

How and why the two stars came back for a sequel, something they had previously pledged not to do, became a central focus when Hall appeared on “The Late Show,” Murphy appeared on “The Tonight Show” and both of them on “Kimmel.” Fowler also talked about the movie on “The Tonight Show”

Murphy and his daughter were interviewed about the legacy of the original film and what it was like to bring the sequel to completion all these years later.


I’ll be honest when I first heard the movie was happening i was all

Coming 2 America GIF by Amazon Prime Video - Find & Share on GIPHY

But then as the trailer and other assets were released I started to be all

Coming 2 America GIF by Amazon Prime Video - Find & Share on GIPHY

Until finally I was all

Coming 2 America GIF by Amazon Prime Video - Find & Share on GIPHY

Dolemite Is My Name – Marketing Recap

A blaxploitation trailblazer reenters the spotlight as a major comedy star returns.

dolemite is my name posterEddie Murphy’s presence on the big screen has been…inconsistent…in recent years. He’s only appeared in three live action films since 2010 and none of those have been massively memorably, nor have they full taken advantage of Murphy’s prodigious talents as an actor. This week’s Netflix original Dolemite Is My Name hopes to buck that trend.

Murphy stars in the film as Rudy Ray Moore, an actor/comedian/entertainer who spent years hustling to be famous, making his own comedy records and performing anywhere he could. Eventually Moore comes up with the character of Dolemite, a sharply-dressed action hero. Taking the money he’d made from his homemade comedy records, he decides to take the character to the big screen, creating one of the most influential blaxploitation films of the 1970s.

The Posters

Murphy as Moore is decked out in his fanciest suit on the one-sheet, strutting for the camera in full peacock mode. The rest of the cast are presented in the multi-colored stripes that are arranged behind him while his journey is shared in the copy at the bottom, “Make your own legend.” It’s a bright, bold design that does a good job of selling the vibe fo the film.

The Trailers

Moore, we see in the first trailer from early August, is a guy constantly hustling in the service of getting famous. He’s tried everything and one day creates the Dolemite character, one he finds catches on with people the more outrageous he acts. Still on the fringes, he decides the key is in making a movie about Dolemite, one whose quality appears somewhat questionable, at least during production. But he’s got a group of collaborators there to help him and no end of ambition.

Online and Social

There doesn’t appear to be a website or social profile for the movie specifically, though Netflix has given it some support on its brand channels.

Advertising and Promotions

Murphy and Snipes along with many of the other filmmakers appeared in a featurette released in September that had them all talking about who Moore was and what kind of influence he had on culture as a whole.

Media and Press

Brewer was interviewed at the same time the trailer was released about what attracted him to the project, working with Murphy and more.

News that Murphy would host “Saturday Night Live” in December. While that’s happening a couple months after this movie came out, the announcement was certainly well-timed to help bring the actor back into the mainstream spotlight.

The topic of recreating the wardrobe of the era was covered in an interview with the movie’s costume designer.

Murphy was interviewed around the time the movie was premiering in Toronto, talking about why he wanted to play this role as well as shutting down any conversation about this being a “comeback” given he’s never really left the spotlight.

A feature profile of Murphy a few weeks prior to release allowed him to talk about this movie, his return to stand-up and more. The movie’s writing team shared how they have been trying to get this made with Murphy for a long time and were thrilled to finally see it come to fruition.

The film’s premiere was attended by most of the movie’s cast along with others, all of whom praised Murphy’s return to feature films


Netflix’s campaign for the film has at least two significant feel-good elements to it:

First, there’s Murphy. What we see in the trailer and hear in the press interviews and other material shows the actor still has a fastball that few can match, even after so much time away. He’s loose but focused in a way that will seem instantly familiar to anyone who watched him during his 80s heyday.

Second, there’s the celebration of a cultural icon that may not be a household name. Instead of rehashing the same 24 cultural events from the 20th century – many of which happened to be focused around white people – branching out into new territory is something that enriches us all.

Picking Up the Spare

A few clips like this were released shortly after the movie was in theaters.

The costumes from the movie got more and more attention in features and interviews like this.

Another profile of Murphy had him reminding everyone he hasn’t gone anywhere and is still very much the person he always has been. A similar piece later focused on the “return” narrative that surrounded the entire campaign.

There was finally some attention paid to Da’vine Joy Randolph, who plays a key role in the story, in the form of a feature profile, with another coming shortly after that and another even later. She also appeared on “Kimmel.”

Costar Luenell also got a turn with an appearance on “Kimmel,” where Murphy later showed upalong with “The Late Show” – while Key chatted with Fallon on “The Tonight Show.”

Netflix shared a couple of the “Corner Booth” videos from festivals featuring Murphy/Brewer, Burgess/Randolph, Carter and the screenwriters and Epps/Robinson.

There was also a neat little feature showing the real life background of those who made the real Dolemite and explaining some of the industry terms. Another one had the cast talking even more about the movie and their characters.

A new featurette focusing on Murphy’s performance as Moore came out in late December. Another offered more detail on the costume design of the movie.

There was finally a profile of Wesley Snipes, who plays an important role in the film’s story. Additional stories included another interview with the movie’s costume designer and a conversation with its editor.