Enola Holmes – Marketing Recap

How Netflix has sold a quirky addition to the Sherlock Holmes franchise.

There have been countless adaptations and updates to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes over the years. Most recently, Warner Bros. put to movies in theaters with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law playing Holmes and Watson, respectively. On TV, the BBC’s “Sherlock” brought the character into the modern era and was itself adapted for U.S. audiences in the form of “Elementary.”

Enola Holmes, out today on Netflix and based on a series of books by author Nancy Springer, puts Sherlock (Henry Cavill) and his brother Mycroft (Sam Claflin) in supporting roles while their younger sister Enola (Millie Bobby Brown) takes the lead. On Enola’s 16th birthday their mother (Helena Bonham Carter) suddenly disappears, with Enola left behind to piece together whatever clues there might be in an attempt to find her. Her brothers want her to follow a more traditional path for a 18th century young lady and go to finishing school, but Enola is determined to keep going, even when she winds up becoming entangled in a much larger mystery in London.

Though the story’s setting is in-line with the original stories, the marketing campaign from Netflix has definitely taken a more modern, irreverent approach.

The Posters

The first and primary poster (by marketing agency Concept Arts) came out in August and sets the tone of the film very well with Victorian dresses and suits mixed with bright colors and a title treatment that looks like it was put together with text ripped from magazines.

A series of colorful, slightly pulpy character posters came out just last week, all featuring the same title treatment with each individual placed against a different landmark, location or building that’s featured in the story.

The Trailers

The trailer (7.3 million views on YouTube), released in late August, sells a movie that’s as fun and mischievous as it is filled with mystery. Enola is, we see, completely devoted to her mother, with whom she has a special bond. When she disappears, Enola enlists the aid of her two older brothers to help track her down, but their attempts to civilize Enola aren’t enough for the girl’s spirit. She sets out on her own to find their mother, proving she’s more than capable of holding her own no matter what society expected of most young women at the time.

Online and Social

No stand-alone site for the movie but it has received plenty of support on Netflix’s various brand social channels.

Advertising and Promotions

In production from Legendary, Netflix acquired rights to the movie in April.

Unfortunately a few months later the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyal filed a lawsuit claiming the story violated their copyright on the characters depicted, something it has attempted previously with limited success.

In the weeks leading up to release Netflix put out a number of promotional videos and featurettes. That included the cast explaining the characters and story, Brown reading excerpts from one of the books, an overview of Victorian-era slang and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film that also offers an introduction to the character of Enola and her world.

There was also a more traditional TV spot-esque promo showing how Enola keeps one-upping her famous brothers and refusing to fall into what’s deemed to be her place.

Media and Press

The focus here has been largely on Brown, which makes sense given not only her lead role here but also her popularity on “Stranger Things.” That focus has included a profile on how she got ready for the period role and a joint interview with director Harry Bradbeer about exploring the character and making an action movie with a young woman at the core.


The campaign is just a lot of fun. With Enola breaking the fourth wall to share her thoughts and frustrations with the audience, her attempts to break away from the path her brothers and society would like her to follow and her determination to find her mother, a great sense of humor and attitude permeates the various marketing assets on display here.

The trailer is great, but the posters are also very important in establishing the movie’s brand for the audience. How the designs evoke the poppiest of pop culture, reminiscent of movies like Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, which had the same attitude on display.

More than all that, it’s a chance for Brown to really breakout from her breakout role and show the kind of range she’s capable of.

Picking Up The Spare

Lots more on Brown and how well she fit into the title role. 

There was also a profile of the movie’s production team and how they achieved the story’s look and feel. 

Quite a few new featurettes have also come out, including ones about the twists of the story, the stunts and a key fight sequence. Along with those were a couple more lighthearted videos. And a blooper reel seemed to round things out.

Brown appeared on “The Tonight Show” to talk about the movie and more. 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Marketing Recap

mission_impossible fallout posterYou can read all about the marketing of Mission: Impossible – Fallout over at The Hollywood Reporter.

Media and Publicity

Until just a few days prior to the movie’s release there wasn’t a whole lot of earned media activity outside of what resulted from the distribution of official featurettes and other content.

That didn’t change until just recently as Tom Cruise stopped by “Kimmel” to engage in some pranks and talk some more about the injuries he sustained filming the stunts in the movie. Henry Cavill also showed up on “GMA” to talk about the movie in general.

It’s not terribly surprising there wouldn’t be a whole lot of these kinds of press appearances. Cavill has a history of putting his foot in his mouth during interviews and I don’t think anyone wants Cruise speaking in a non-monitored environment. Plus, owned channels were utilized sufficiently to get the word out, especially how widely and frequently that content was amplified by the press.

There have also been a few new IMAX-related promotions that continue to emphasize how big the movie is and how you need to see it on the biggest screen possible to fully enjoy it. Those include a look at how such a screen was constructed for the Paris premiere and members of the cast talking about what they would do with 26% more of various objects.


It’s almost as if it’s being sold as the anti-comic book movie. The characters may likewise regularly survive situations that the average person wouldn’t, but the studio and star are telling us the stakes are far higher because they’re very, very real.


The popular Battlegrounds Mobile video game is getting a movie-themed level.

There’s some good points made in this story about how the M:I franchise is the rare movie sold on its star and not an IP brand. I don’t, though, think it goes far enough to look at how the marketing relied on the combination of Tom Cruise’s name recognition and the promise of mind-blowing stunt work *is* a brand. If Cruise was actually still a market-driver on his own, Edge of Oblivion 2 would already be in production.

A new TV spot has been released emphasizing the incredibly high marks the movie has received from critics.

Lots more official featurettes have been released, including an IMAX Q&A with director Christopher McQuarrie, and character-specific profiles of Simon Pegg, Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett.

Bassett also joined Tom Cruise on “The Late Late Show” while Cavill popped up on “Kimmel” to talk about stunts and other aspects of making the movie. Meanwhile costar Vanessa Kirby, who wasn’t a huge part of the main campaign, was interviewed about the stunts (of course) and her decision to join the franchise.

A location-based VR experience has been developed by VRWERX and Nomadic that allows participants to interact with objects and environments from the film.

Two new featurettes came in early December, one showing how members of the press were taken for a helicopter ride and one about how those same journalists and producers were taken for a spin on BMW’s stunt test track. Both of those still find time to mention how hard Cruise worked to master the needed skills.