Resistance – Marketing Recap

How IFC Films is selling a movie about fighting oppression.

resistance posterJonathan Jakubowicz wrote and directed this week’s new release Resistance. The movie stars Jesse Eisenberg as Marcel Marceau, long before he became the world-renowned performer famous for his abilities as a mime. During the events of the movie, Marceau is still an aspiring actor who joins the French Resistance to the Nazi occupation of World War II.

He does so reluctantly, wanting only to continue acting and painting and trying to ride out the terrors of the occupation. But he’s convinced to put his acting skills to use in the service of others, specifically a group of orphaned children who are at risk of being killed by the German soldiers. So he joins others in seeking to protect those children from the horrors of the Gestapo.

The limited campaign from IFC Films is a result of the movie getting an on-demand release this week due to the current theatrical situation as well as the movie’s status as a smaller title with limited commercial appeal.

The Posters

Marceau is shown running across a bridge adorned with Nazi flags on the one poster, released in February. His clothes, along with those flags, help set the time period the story takes place in while the somber color palette helps to set the tone.

The copy at the top that reads “The best way to resist is to survive” works nicely in summing up the struggle Marceau is undergoing as he hesitantly moves from wanting to simply survive to full on resistance.

The Trailers

In early February the first trailer (36,000 views on YouTube) was finally released. We meet Marcel, a man who’s shown early on both fighting back against the occupying Nazi soldiers and bringing laughs and entertainment to the children caught in the middle of a terrifying war. He and others are working to do what they can to hurt the Germans killing civilians, but the question remains: what is better, matching violence and hatred with the same or simply working to survive? Whatever the answer, the goal is to save the lives of those too young to protect themselves.

Online and Social

Not much beyond the standard marketing materials and basic information on IFC’s website for the movie.

Advertising and Promotions

It was during the American Film Market in late 2019 that IFC Films announced it had acquired the film.

Earlier this month the studio engaged in a small bit of advertising for the movie with spots like this that sum up the story pretty nicely, playing up the dramatic nature of what’s happening.

Media and Press

Eisenberg was interviewed about his role and the research he did into the reality of the man he was portraying. Another profile allowed him to talk about both this movie and the other release he has coming out this week.


There’s little doubt the movie is getting the fuzzy end of the lollipop when it comes to timing. Even aside from the fact that the theatrical marketplace is on extreme hold for the moment, it’s difficult for anything to break through the clutter of noise in the media world right now.

My one issue with the campaign is that it doesn’t make more of the actual history behind the story. This is a fascinating idea, that one of the 20th century’s greatest performers was involved in a massive wartime rescue operation. That seems to be skimmed over, but seems substantial.

Other than that this is not a bad campaign, just one that doesn’t get the the heft it otherwise would have.

Picking Up The Spare

A new clip came out just as the movie was hitting theaters.

Zombieland: Double Tap – Marketing Recap

You can read my full recap of the marketing campaign for Zombieland: Double Tap at The Hollywood Reporter.

Online and Social

There’s not a whole lot going on over at the movie’s official website, just the standard marketing materials along with lots of calls to action to buy tickets.

Sony created the usual social profiles for the movie, but took notably different approaches to them. The Facebook page has all the expected updates about promotional activities and new marketing assets being released. The Twitter profile has more updates and a more casual vibe, which isn’t unusual. What is worth calling out is that the Facebook uses “the Royal We” in framing how those updates are shared while on Twitter the updates come from an unnamed “I,” giving the profile a much more personal touch. That tactic is designed to create a stronger connection with followers by making it clear there’s a real person behind the posts, one that is just as excited about this new movie as they hope others are. So

Media and Press

It was over two years before any further update was offered. That’s when co-writer Paul Wernick made comments about how the movie was actually pretty close at hand, aiming toward a 2019 release.

Harrelson commented on the fun he had during production while promoting The Highwaymen earlier this year.

After the trailer debuted, Fleischer talked about why the sequel took so long to come together while also sharing comments from Stone that she wants to do one of these every decade to check in on the characters.

The cast made the late night and morning talk show rounds, with Deutsch and Zuckerberg appearing on “The Tonight Show” while the whole cast appeared on “The Tonight Show” to engage in a bit. Harrelson hosted “Saturday Night Live” a couple weeks ago.

AMC Theaters offered an exclusive featurette and interview with three of the leads. They commented on the same array of topics as before at the movie’s premiere.

Fleischer talked about how he revived old instincts to return to the decade-old stories and characters. He and others were interviewed again about the potential for another sequel in a decade.


Picking Up the Spare

More from the movie’s screenwriters here about their ideas for a third installment. The return of a certain celebrity in a cameo role was also covered, as was the unease felt by Stone and others in the cast. Deutch also talked about her addition to the story.

A blooper reel came out just after the movie was in theaters.

The Hummingbird Project – Marketing Recap

hummingbird project posterThe cutthroat world of high-end finance and securities training is the setting for The Hummingbird Project. Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgård as investor brothers who are angling for any advantage over their competitors. Like everyone else in the industry they know that with automated electronic trading the dominant tactic, shaving fractions of a second off the receipt of information to make those trades can mean a difference of millions of dollars, if not more.

So they set out to create a high-speed fiber connection between a major junction in the Pacific Ocean and their East Coast operations that’s straighter and therefore more fast, by a couple hundreths of a second. Their project gets the attention of their rival, played by Salma Hayek, who sets out to quash their efforts and stop them from gaining an advantage.

The Posters

The three main characters are shown on the one-sheet standing on the single element still connecting two frayed ends of a split wire, showing the tenuous nature of the ground they’re operating on. “Everything is on the line” is the copy that conveys the story’s stakes.

The Trailers

Vincent and Anton want to demolish everything in the way of them creating a straighter, faster connection to financial information in the first trailer. That connection will allow them to get data a millisecond faster than competitors, which has implications adding up to millions of dollars a year. They set out to grab the land rights for that connection but face competition from Torres, who wants that money for herself. It’s a fun, tight trailer that sells a story of boundless ambition that’s occasionally derailed by physical or legal realities.

Online and Social

There’s really only the usual content on the movie’s official website, offering visitors the trailer, a synopsis and so on. A minimal effort on display here along with links to profiles on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing here that I’ve seen.

Media and Publicity

A screening at the Toronto Film Festival generated good reviews, with the movie being picked up by The Orchard.

In the last week or so before release The Orchard has put out a series of clips, including one that was shared exclusively by Moviefone and one that was exclusive to The Playlist.

Eisenberg made appearances on late night and morning talk shows to bring some attention to the film. He was also profiled in pieces like this but those interviews often mentioned several other projects the actor has in the works as well. Skarsgård, meanwhile, was promoting another movie he has coming out this week. There was also a substantial profile of Hayek where she talked about this movie and various other topics.

The studio raised some eyebrows among critics when they sent out real chainsaws as promotional items, relevant since the movie is about how the brothers are willing to cut down trees to build their information pipeline. While contextually appropriate, that’s also a substantial item to send to people and one that’s not going to be immediately useful to a lot of people.


I feel there might be a pretty decent movie and interesting story hiding behind a campaign that could use a little more juice. While the trailer and poster are interesting, the whole push is a little dry, lacking a solid hook for the audience. It’s almost as if there’s a bit too much story that’s being included in the marketing to distill the message down to a single, compelling idea for the audience to latch on to.