How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Marketing Recap

My full recap of the marketing for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is live at The Hollywood Reporter.

Online and Social

The movie’s website, which is the same site that was used for the earlier movies, features a number of content blocks offering games, information on dragon identification and more. It’s not that engaging and doesn’t use the latest in web design theory or anything, but apparently it is working well enough. There’s a Facebook page that’s specific to the franchise but on Twitter and Instagram it’s the brand profile for Dreamworks Animation that’s used.

Media and Publicity

Honestly there doesn’t seem to have been a significant press push for the movie outside of the featurettes, clips and event appearances mentioned in my original article.


how to train your dragon 3 pic gif

Picking Up the Spare

Director Dean DeBois was interviewed about bringing his passion for films to this project while Baruchel spoke about meeting fans and what it was like to take Hiccup out for one final ride.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers – Marketing Recap

Doug “The Thug” Glatt (Seann William Scott) has gotten out of the hockey world in Goon 2: Last of the Enforcers. He’s retired and married to Eva (Allison Pill) with a baby on the way. He’s lured back to the game when the pro hockey league is locked out and the Halifax Highlanders need him most. In Doug’s absence, his nemesis Anders Cain (Wyatt Russell) is made captain, much to the team’s chagrin.

Defying his wife’s wishes, Doug seeks to get back into things but finds the injuries sustained in a lifetime of fighting have taken their toll. So to try and get his edge back he seeks out his one-time rival Ross Rhea (Liv Schreiber) to train him and regain his fighting edge.

The Posters

A teaser poster just shows Scott as Doug carrying his stick and skates, the prone body of his opponent lying on the ice behind him. “Twice as hard as the first time.’ we’re promised here.

The first poster shows the return of Scott and Schreiber as the two stand alongside Pill. The hockey sticks and gloves make it clear that we’re still in hockey territory here, as does the copy that tells us “Hockey is hard. Family is harder.”

Another poster shows Doug punching the screen of the camera, with the glass cracking around the title treatment. “Punch retirement in the face” is the copy, explaining to the audience that he’s not going gently into that good night.

The Trailers

The first, short red-band trailer is primarily focused on making sure we know Doug Glatt is back. He’s pretty mellow now, but the audience still just wants those big hits. So we see a lot of not just hockey violence but people reacting to that violence and players questioning what the point of it all is. There are also lots of juvenile pranks going on, adding to the humor.

It’s pretty funny but there’s not much story on display here. That’s alright, though, since the overall tone of the movie comes through. There’s plenty of shots of the supporting cast and even Scott doesn’t get a ton of screen time. It’s primarily about selling the over-the-top hijinks of the story.

Doug is knocked out when the official trailer opens and we find out he’s fallen on hard times, not able to play hockey and working at a desk job. So he seeks out Ross Rhea to train him to fight more effectively as a way to get back into the game. As that’s going on we see him with his very pregnant wife as the two of them are expecting a baby.

It’s an alright trailer that I’m sure will resonate well with fans of the first movie. It’s funny and Scott is always pretty good, as is Schreiber. There’s nothing special here, it does what it needs to do and not much else.

Another red-band trailer followed that offered more of the story as well as just a lot of swearing, all wrapped in the music of an inspirational sports story. A second official all-ages trailer hit many of the same notes, showing Doug’s fall from glory and his attempts to regain his throne. There’s also a short clip of T.J. Miller as a sports news anchor at the end that appears out of nowhere and seems just to be included to take advantage of Miller’s higher profile at the moment.

Online and Social

The official website for the movie is primarily focused on converting visitors to buyers since the movie is available now as a digital download and soon on Blu-ray. There are links to the movie’s Facebook page as well as Twitter and Instagram profiles for Momentum Pictures in the upper right. There was also a Twitter account for the movie but it’s not linked on the site.

The middle of the page has one of the trailers along with a brief “Synopsis,” a “Cast & Crew” section and a list of theaters the film is playing, but that’s about it.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’ve seen here.

Media and Publicity

An interview with Baruchel talked about his transition from writer and actor to director, including what lessons he took from his experience working with some of the biggest, most well-known directors around. He also, of course, talked about what drove him to revisit the story of Doug Glatt and put him in such an uncertain and existential situation.

An interview with Scott allowed him to talk about returning to the character after a few years, how he doesn’t get too bent out of shape over playing slightly stupid characters and what fans can expect from this sequel.

Baruchel continued talking about stepping behind the camera and why he felt this was the right time to do so. He also wrote an op-ed about his career to date and a lifelong history of writing.

There was also this story, which offered a perspective on why the Goon movies are so perfectly and uniquely Canadian, from the sport portrayed in the way the characters approach their teammates to the perspective of the fans.


Just as much as some other examples, this sequel is going to have a very narrow target audience, specifically those who not only enjoyed the first one but who want to see more of Doug Glatt and the characters in his world. That’s what’s sold here, more of the same only different. It’s just as darkly violent and satirical and Canadian as the first movie, just in different ways and this time with Baruchel helming it.

Weirdly the story arc, at least as it’s presented in the campaign, reminds me of what was sold in the push for Cars 3, that of a star athlete who’s contemplating the end of the road and a life lived more quietly. Scott looks like he gives it his all and there are certainly a few laughs throughout. So those were were entertained the first time around will likely be so here as well, though there’s little here for anyone not in that group to latch onto.

Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.