The Glorias – Marketing Recap

How Amazon Studios sold a biopic about a key feminist leader.

There are few people who had a bigger impact on American history in the 20th century than Gloria Steinem, and few actors who have a more stellar track record of outstanding performances than Julianne Moore. That makes it a natural fit for the latter to play the former, which is exactly what happens in the new film The Glorias.

It’s not just Moore, though. In the film, directed by Julie Taymor, that spans Steinem’s life from youth through her 40s, she’s also portrayed at various points by Alicia Vikander, Lulu Wilson, Ryan Kiera Armstrong and even Steinem herself. Based on her own memoir, the story follows the icon from her childhood through her career as a writer and into her role as a political and cultural activist fighting for women’s rights in the post-WWII era.

The movie has bounced around a few studios due to the coronavirus pandemic and the scheduling issues it’s created but comes to Amazon Prime today with a 72% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Posters

Just one poster (by marketing agency LA), which came out earlier this month. It shows two of the versions of Steinem featured in the film – those portrayed by Moore and Vikander – along with costar Janelle Monáe as Dorothy Pittman Hughes, who along with Steinem founded both Ms. Magazine and The Women’s Action Alliance. Her inclusion here seems highly intentional not just because of Monáe’s stardom but also because of the criticism often leveled at mainstream feminism, that it is primarily aimed at and designed for white women. Along with those individuals, the poster features a collage of key cultural artifacts such as the first Ms. Magazine cover, an Equal Rights Amendment button and some of Steinem’s media headlines.

The Trailers

The teaser trailer (430,000 views on YouTube), released at the beginning of September, offers a good first look at not only the story and how it uses multiple actors in the role of Steinem to span the eras depicted but also at how the movie has Taymor’s trademark visual panache. You get the basic high points and main messages here, especially about how Steinem used every opportunity to not take the safe path but instead break ground when necessary.

The official trailer (634,000 views on YouTube) only hit in the last two weeks and features even more of Taymor’s visuals and how she’s constructed the story. Steinem’s early years get a bit more attention as well, showing how she has to make compromises in order to get into the system she wants to change. It’s powerful and effective, especially at showing it to be a somewhat unusual or at least non-traditional biopic.

Online and Social

The movie’s official website opens with the trailer and has most of the usual marketing content. Along with that are a couple sections that are highly relevant to the subject matter.

First there’s “Get Involved,” which has information and links to When We All Vote and The United States of Women. The former is focused on turning out the vote while the latter is all about addressing issues specific to women across racial, ethnic and other lines.

Second is “Trailblazing Women,” where you can find information on some of the important women who influenced Steinem and her work, many of whom are featured in the film. Links to organizations associated with those women can also be found there.

Advertising and Promotions

The 2020 Sundance Film Festival served as the movie’s first public screening venue, earning positive reviews and buzz as a result. The cast and crew, along with Steinhem, were there to help promote the film.

LD Entertainment and Roadside Attractions partnered to acquire distribution rights after the festival ended.

In August the movie was officially removed from the theatrical calendar and a release directly on Amazon Prime scheduled for late September. At the end of the month a screening was held at Donna Karen’s home in The Hamptons.

Clips from the movie included Steinem and others fielding stupid questions at a press conference and more.

Media and Press

Taymor was interviewed during Sundance about the unusual format she applied to the movie instead of the usual biopic template and how she connected with Steinem, eventually getting her blessing to pursue the project. Steinhem was there herself and was just as opinionated on a number of topics, including the movie, as you’d hope she would be.

Other interviews with Taymor had her talking about adapting Steinem’s memoir and lots more, with some recent pieces touching on how the story relates to current events like the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Other media appearances included the cast talking on ExtraTV and Vikander chatting with Seth Meyers on “Late Night” and Moore on “The Tonight Show.”

Overall

There’s so much about this campaign that makes it fascinating, from the casting to the look and feel that comes with Taymor at the helm and more. It sells a movie that offers something unique and has a story to tell, one that should be more common than it currently is. The whole thing features a consistent brand, albeit one that is a whirlwind collage of imagery and visuals, all with Moore and the other stars at its center.

What jumps out most, though, is that the story doesn’t just feature a woman doing the unexpected for the period she lived in, but also clearly shows the misogyny and other attitudes that kept them out of certain jobs and environments for so long. Steinem is helped and encouraged by the other women around her, but there’s no “good guy” male figure here, one that wants to help breakdown boundaries. Instead they all want to keep her in her place, which is likely more realistic. For not shying away from that, it deserves kudos.

Picking Up The Spare

Costume designer Sandy Powell was interviewed about capturing the look of various periods in the story. 

Interesting roundtable here with Taymor and others about how the movie was made and the struggles the filmmakers had with securing financing. 

Gloria Bell – Marketing Recap

gloria bell posterJulianne Moore plays the title character in this week’s Gloria Bell. Gloria is a woman who is out there living life, at least after she finishes her run-of-the-mill day job. At night she heads out to dance at one of L.A.’s many clubs. She’s comfortable in her life and, since she’s divorced, doesn’t have to worry about what anyone at home might think.

While out one evening she meets Arnold (John Turturro) and the two develop a romantic connection. After enjoying her freedom and lack of ties, though, dating is difficult for Gloria and various issues start to come between her and Arnold, issues the two will have to overcome to make it work.

The Posters

We get everything we need to know about Gloria on the poster, which shows her enjoying the breeze as she stands up in a moving car. She’s a carefree spirit, we’re told, and we’re going to follow her as she moves through her life. What’s most notable is that this is a woman who’s 30 years older than the typical character we see cutting loose like this, but there are no apologies offered. She is who she is and she’s going to enjoy every minute she can.

The Trailers

We meet Gloria in the first trailer and see she is a force of nature, optimistic and loving and patient with everyone around her. One night she meets Arnold and the two begin dating, which is going fine until he meets her ex-husband, which causes problems in the relationship.

The main takeaway from the trailer is the Julianne Moore is a gift from above and we don’t deserve her. We see the pull and push that’s common to most romantic comedies, but the fact that it’s too reliable pros like Moore and Turturro in the leads immediately kicks things up a notch and promises what might be a standard story will be something more.

Online and Social

A24 offers just the basic information on the page for the movie, including a trailer, synopsis, cast/crew list and the poster. There are also links to Facebook and Twitter profiles, but that’s it.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’ve seen or heard about.

Media and Publicity

The title was picked up by A24 ahead of its previously-announced premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.

In the last few days before release Moore appeared on late-night and morning talk shows to discuss the movie and her character.

Overall

Moore is, of course, the main attraction here. The story is interesting and we could certainly use more movies like this that feature women over the age of 30 having the time of their lives free of entanglements. It’s not sad about her choices, but revels in them. With the focus on the actress and the unique story she’s part of, it’s a good – albeit small – campaign.

Picking Up the Spare

Moore talked about working with Turturro and the production as a whole at the movie’s premiere. She was also interviewed more about what made the role attractive.

Turturro finally appeared on late night to talk about the movie.

The fact that the story focused on the carefree life being lived by a woman over 50 was notable and noted.

Bel Canto – Marketing Recap

bel canto posterJulianne Moore stars as Roxane Coss in Bel Canto. Coss is an opera singer who travels to South America at the invitation of Katsumi Hosokawa (Ken Watanabe), a wealthy businessman who is an unabashed fan of hers. She visits his private estate to perform for a collection of dignitaries and other powerful individuals.

Things take a turn when a group of guerillas storm the compound, determined to hold the attendees hostage until the government releases their imprisoned comrades. But the drama drags on for a month, forcing the hostages and hostage-takers to spend more and more time together, during which they find themselves forced to confront the other party’s point of view.

The Posters

Moore and Watanabe are shown in their fine evening wear behind barred windows, an armed militia member of some kind on the side closed the camera. It’s not enormously effective as it doesn’t spell out a very clear brand for the movie, but it’s hard to argue with placing these two stars at the center of things.

The Trailers

The trailer effectively sets up the conflicts that will drive the story, showing that a performance by Coss at the home of a well-connected individual is interrupted by rebels seeking to trade hostages for their comrades being held by the government. Coss is not only the object of affection for Hosokawa but also winds up becoming key to the rebels’ plans as the seek to use her to build empathy among the public.

Online and Social

The only online presence I could find was a page on ScreenMedia’s website where you can watch the trailer, read a synopsis, view a gallery of stills and find both showtimes and a link to buy the movie on iTunes.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Nothing I’ve been able to find.

Media and Publicity

There wasn’t a whole lot of press activity here. Among the few articles and stories found were this interview Moore conducted with Renee Fleming, who provides her singing voice in the movie, and an interview with Watanabe where he talked about his personal connection to the real events that inspired the movie.

Overall

The campaign doesn’t really hit on all cylinders, never really allowing the story enough room to really explore the complexities that seem to be hinted at here and there. But the performances by Moore and Watanabe are the main draw and on that level it succeeds.

PICKING UP THE SPARE

TheWrap has a history of the journey the book took to being adapted into a movie.

Julianne Moore talks lip-synching to Renee Fleming to try and come off like a world-class opera singer something she also covered when she appeared on “Late Night.”

Ken Watanabe talks about the multicultural cast and vibe during production and how his career has evolved.

Suburbicon – Marketing Recap

George Clooney returns to the director’s chair with this week’s Suburbicon. He’s brought along his partner in crime Matt Damon, who stars as Gardner Lodge, a man trying to live a peaceful 1960s suburban life with his family. But the small town they inhabit has dark secrets that are about to turn this tranquil landscape upside down.

Through a series of events, Lodge’s wheelchair-bound wife Rose (Julianne Moore) is killed in a home invasion. That leads to her twin sister Margaret (also Moore, natch) moving in and taking on many of the household duties in order to maintain the “normal” position in the neighborhood. While everything else is happening, Lodge is determined to protect his family, including taking on the local mob, headed by Roger (Oscar Isaac). Notably, the script was originally written by Clooney’s frequent collaborators Joel and Ethan Coen.

The Posters

“A little slice of Heaven” is what we’re introduced to on the first poster, though that seems to be referring more to the idyllic row of houses at the bottom and not the blood-stained shirt that’s seen. The starkness of the image, the white of the shirt against the dark red background in particular, works to get the audience’s attention. Below the title it’s sure to mention that the Coen Brothers were involved in writing the story as that’s going to be a big draw for a lot of moviegoers.

The second poster takes the approach of showing how all the different characters and situations are part of Gardner. So all sorts of different headshots and action photos are put in the frame of his body. “Welcome to the neighborhood” is the ominous copy at the top, particularly considering some of the gruesome scenes on display below.

The Trailers

The first trailer is [fire emoji] as it starts out by introducing us to a quiet, peaceful suburban street in the 1950s. But that peace is in contrast to the fact that a young boy is informed men who broke into the family house has killed his mother. Gardner will do whatever it takes to protect himself and his son, including beating gangsters to death and inviting the boy’s aunt to come stay with them. He’s not intimidated when Roger starts threatening him but continues doing what he needs to do.

You can see the Coen’s fingerprints all over the story, from the brutal violence to the dry, darkly funny moments. Clooney’s directorial style, which has always veered closer to Steven Soderbergh’s influence, also seems to work well with this material, which is far funnier than what he usually tackles. It’s an insane story and the trailer doesn’t shy away from that.

Another trailer takes a slightly different tack. The same basic premise and points are shown here, but in a more stylized way, with a tick-tock soundtrack and a different pace and approach. It’s no less effective than the first and it makes the movie look even more twisted and dark.

Online and Social

There’s not much happening on the movie’s official website. The trailer plays when you load the site, and once it’s over there main call-to-action is to again “Watch the Trailer.” There are links in the upper right to the Twitter, Instagram and Facebook profiles that have been established, but that’s about it, not even a synopsis.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

The first TV spot out of the gate does nothing to hide the dark and disturbing nature of the story. While there’s not much emphasis put on the characters themselves or their motivations, it does show the brutal and twisted violence that those characters engage in, all while working to maintain the veneer of pleasant politeness we associate with the time period.

There’s been some online advertising done as well, mostly using clips and key art. On social media the trailer was used to drive interest and awareness around the time it was released.

Media and Publicity

The first shot out of the publicity gate was a brief interview with Clooney that also included some first-look photos. He talked about how the story evolved over the 20 years the Coens have been working on it as well as a few vague details about the movie. The movie was announced as one of those that would screen at the Toronto International Film Festival. It also was slated for the Venice Film Festival.

A brief interview with Clooney in Entertainment Weekly’s fall movie preview had him talking about how he’s been involved with the movie in some way for decades and how he was happy to not act for a change. He also reassured people that yes, it’s a comedy, albeit a dark one and revealed that Coen Bros. regular Josh Brolin shot scenes for the movie that were later cut, but not without a good reason.

How Clooney approached Damon with the story, Damon’s take on the character and how the story is still relevant in today’s world were all covered by the actor here. The long history of the project as well as the ties to and relevance in today’s political world, along with the changes that were made in the wake of the most recent presidential election, continued to be themes in interviews with Clooney.

Clooney showed up on “Kimmel,” which of course included a surprise appearance by Kimmel nemesis Damon. The two also made other press rounds on TV.

Overall

I’ve stated often how I’m predisposed to like new Coen Bros. material. I’ve been less of a fan of their work when it’s interpreted by other directors (I’m looking at you, Bad Santa), but overall I dig their worldview and approach.

That’s the vibe being sold here. As stated above, there are elements of their involvement that are clearly evident in some of the marketing material, even when it’s not explicitly stated. That forms a pretty important hook for the campaign, which wants to reach people like me that are fans of the brothers as well as the critics who often champion their films.

Aside from that, this looks dark as heck. There’s a comic touch to some of the material on display but it’s all tinged with a cynical perspective that may turn off some audiences. What’s being sold here looks rough and not exactly uplifting. Plus, I’m sure there are at least a couple subplots that are completely unseen in the campaign, which may lead to some upturned expectations when people finally start seeing the movie.

All that together means the movie could have a tough time connecting with audiences this weekend.

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

Wonderstruck – Marketing Recap

Director Todd Haynes brings us this week’s new release Wonderstruck. Based on the book of the same name by Brian Selznick, the story is split into two parts that share a common core.

In 1977 Ben (Oakes Fegley) has been in an accident and is now deaf, all this coming shortly after his mother Elaine died. He’s set out to New York City to find the father he never knew. Meanwhile in 1927 Rose (newcomer Millicent Simmonds), who was born deaf, has run away from the father who keeps her hidden away in shame. She’s also going to New York, in this case to find the actress Lillian Mayhew (Julianne Moore), who she idolizes. Both stories are connected in unexpected ways that appear as the story continues.

The Posters

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” is the copy at the top of the first one-sheet. The rest of it is a photo from the inside of the natural history museum where much of the action and story seemingly take place, with a dinosaur skeleton on one side, a stuffed giraffe on the other rand a massive walk-in area filled with smaller items in the center. I know it’s bad, but I can’t help thinking this looks like a more serious-minded version of Night at the Museum.

A poster was given out at San Diego Comic-Con (with the same image made available online later on) that presents the story in coloring page form. So the main characters are seen walking down a New York City street, with animals from the museum arranged all around them.

Elements of that version were used in the theatrical poster, which had the two children walking down opposite sides of the street, showing the time period their story takes place in. Meanwhile, the animals and creatures hover in the background.

The Trailers

The teaser trailer starts off by showing us the scenes of the two children from the two eras we’re following and what sort of adventures they get up to in the museum where the story takes place. There’s some sort of connection that’s very mysterious and which is hinted at as we get various small character moments. It’s a good teaser that certainly sets up lots more to come.

We finally find out more about Ben in the first full trailer. It opens as he’s asking his mom about the father he never knew. He has an accident and can’t hear and that seems to send him down the path that winds up intersecting with Rose across the decades. Both are, in their own way, trying to solve mysteries that eventually lead them to the same museum.

There’s a great sense of childlike innocence that’s on display here. The kids never seem to be, at least not based on what’s seen here, in any real danger. It’s just about being where adults think you shouldn’t and having to make your way on your own. Looks great.

What was notable was that a captioned version of the trailer featuring an introduction by Simmonds was released at the same time, a nice touch that acknowledges the hearing impaired audience and recognition of the fact that Simmonds herself is deaf.

Online and Social

On the main page of the official website you’re greeted with full-screen video that;s pulled from the trailer. There’s a prompt to get tickets, a critic quote praising the movie and release dates all on that page.

If you open the menu in the upper left you can visit “Novel,” which has more information on the source book as well as “Videos,” which has both the trailers and a clip. That’s also where you’ll find links to the movie’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles.

Back to the home page, there’s the option to switch between 1977 and 1927. Each one changes the footage that’s shown on the splash page as well as the information and photos that are available as you scroll down the page. That’s a nice way of continuing the split nature of the story to the web and set audience expectations.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

It doesn’t appear Amazon/Roadside did any TV advertising, but there was plenty online. Key art and clips were used in online ads and the trailer was used in promoted Twitter posts to drive interest and ticket sales.

Media and Publicity

The movie was one of a handful that had its premiere at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. Just before that a first-look photo was released featuring Moore.

The first official marketing effort came just before the movie debuted at Cannes and took the form of an extended clip showing Ben and another boy chasing each other around a museum intercut with black-and-white scenes from the same museum, this time from years in the past and featuring Rose examining the exhibits. While at Cannes, Haynes and the rest of the cast spoke frequently about making the movie, the unique story structure and, Amazon’s support of cinema and filmmakers more. That screening resulted in plenty of positive buzz for the film.

Haynes also talked about how he intends this as a “Kids’ movie” and how he worked with the child actors that make up a good chunk of the film. Moore also talked about Simmonds in particular, praising her performance.

The movie’s profile was raised when it was announced as the “Centerpiece” selection of the New York Film Festival. EW shared a profile of Simmonds in its fall movie preview issue where Haynes also commented about the magnetic presence of the young actor and more.

While Moore was interviewed occasionally, including this joint piece with Simmonds where they talked about learning new languages and how that impacted filming, the majority of the press was actually done by Haynes. He talked about how he wanted to make an intelligent kids movie, not one that played to the lowest common denominator, how this fits in with his other work, what it was like to work with child actors so prominently and how critical the film’s score is to the story.

Overall

The campaign works hard to create and maintain that sense of childhood wonder we feel when we’re exploring and on our own, that magical sensation that feels the awe of being in the presence of something greater than ourselves but also the curiosity to explore it and learn more about it. Emotionally, that’s what the studios are going for and that’s reflected in the way the teaser trailer, in particular, is framed as well as how the movie is sold on the posters. We’re looking up at the world from a child’s point of view, which sometimes is too sure of itself to be more careful.

More concretely, the focus on both Simmonds as the breakout star and on Haynes shows where the studios have identified the strongest appeals to be. These tactics speak more to film fans than the general audience, who are meant to be pulled in with the emotional approach above. Film fans are going to be drawn in by the promise of a truly unique performance by a young actor and by the promise that this is another in a long line of outstanding films from the director, particularly in the wake of Carol a couple years ago.

PICKING UP THE SPARE

Amidst reports that Amazon Studios was foregoing a physical home video release entirely (which…wow), I noticed there are a ton of ads for the movie plastered around IMDb, which Amazon owns. Those ads are sometimes, as in the screenshot example below, interrupting the flow of content on the site and take you directly to where you can stream it now on Amazon.

 

You Were Never Really Here – PICKING UP THE SPARE

A joint interview here with Joaquin Phoenix and Lynne Ramsay about the working relationship they developed and the story they were trying to tell in the movie.
Amazon Studios put out a short promo video acknowledging this was one of two movies starring Joaquin Phoenix-starring movies it was distributing this year.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Marketing Recap

As this week’s sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle opens, the elite British spy agency has suffered a terrible setback as a secret – and evil – organization has destroyed their headquarters and announced its intention to take over the world. Leading that charge is the organization’s charismatic leader Poppy (Julianne Moore), who maintains others have failed and so now she has to step in and clean up their mess.

That leads the surviving members of Kingsman, including Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) to seek the help of their American cousins the Statesman. That brings them into contact with Tequila (Channing Tatum), Ginger (Halle Berry) and the head of that group, Champ (Jeff Bridges). The colonials may have a different way of doing things, but the two groups have to work together to take Poppy and The Golden Circle down before it’s too late.

The Posters

The first teaser poster accompanied, and basically served as, the news that the movie was officially happening at all. It shows a pair of glasses with one lens blacked out sitting on top of a surface with the text “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” a reference to the fate of a character from the first movie who may not be as gone as fans were led to believe. The second teaser also hinted at a character, but this time a new one that was American. This came out at the same time rumors were circulating around Tatum’s involvement and seemed to confirm those. Two more did the same thing for different characters.

The next primarily conveys the idea that the story is moving across the pond in this story, with the British character on one side holding his umbrella and dressed like a chartered accountant and the other character on the right dressed in jeans and a denim jacket and holding a bullwhip.

A whole series of posters featured each individual character standing against a white background. The Brits were labeled as “Suited” while the Americans were “Booted” to differentiate the teams and Moore’s villain was “Deluded.”

Another series offered a brief explanation of who they were alongside each character.

Another put each character in front of a contextual background like a cabinet full of guns, stylish clothing, sports equipment and more.

The Trailers

In advance of the first trailer, an “Ultimate Breakdown” was released that took the viewer through much of the movie, all condensed into quick flash single frames that took just 15 seconds to cycle through. It certainly worked to get people talking.

The first trailer starts with a brief recap of how Eggsy was recruited as a Kingsman before an important building is destroyed. That sets things in motion and there’s little story on display in the rest of the trailer, which is primarily concerned with showing off the action sequences. Along the way we get hints of the American counterparts they’ll encounter before a major reveal is made at the very end.

Before the panel at San Diego Comic-Con a red-band trailer was released that explains a bit more about the challenge the Kingsmen are facing and what brings them to America to work with the Statesmen. It’s violent and high-concept and looks awesome.

One more short trailer introduces us to Poppy and The Golden Circle. She’s bringing her secret organization out of the shadows because she feels society has failed, leading to lots of destruction, villainy and…dancing?

Online and Social

The theatrical key art sits at the top of the movie’s official website, just above links to the Facebook and Twitter profiles created by the studio as well as prompts to watch the trailer or buy tickets.

Scroll down and you can check out a bunch of the “Videos,” including the trailers, clips, TV spots and a few featurettes focusing on the stunt work involved in making the film. After that “About” has a story synopsis and cast and crew list. “Posters” lets you view, download or share many of the one-sheets.

After a section encouraging you to sign up for email blasts there’s “The Goldin Foldin,” a page you can print out with an original Al Jaffe (of MAD Magazine fame) illustration that can folded into a new image much like his landmark works on the back of that magazine.

There are a few activities under “Featured Content” that are relevant to the movie. “Gallery” has some production stills to check out. You can download a mobile “Game” that allows you to play as a Kingsman. Finally, “Social Updates” brings in posts from the movie’s social profiles.

Advertising and Cross-Promotions

Whiskey also figured heavily in the first TV spot for the movie, which aired, appropriately enough, during the Kentucky Derby. This one was heavy on the story’s American connections, following the British team as they travel to Kentucky and meet the Statesmen, with scenes in a distillery and more being the focal point.

Further TV spots leaned heavily on how the Kingsmen and their American counterparts had to team up to save the world, with plenty of violent gunplay and other action shown. A ton of commercials were released over the course of the last four to six weeks prior to release, each taking a slightly different approach to selling the story but all playing up the slapstick violence. There were so many spots the movie was the biggest TV spender in the last couple weeks.

There were a number of promotional partners for the movie as well, including:

  • Old Forester, which created a special label of its bourbon whiskey named after the American version of the Kingsmen that’s introduced in the movie. That new product, framed as a partnership that was integral to the movie, received an extended video spot to introduce it to the audience.
  • VisitBritain and Expedia Media Solutions, which partnered on a campaign to encourage U.S. travelers to head across the pond. That campaign included banner and other online ads, an online game and exclusive content on VisitBritain.com and more.

Media and Publicity

The first bit of real publicity for the movie came in the form of an announcement of its title, which was enough to get people talking. It was quite a while then until some first-look stills were released along with from Egerton, Strong and others about where the characters are when we meet them again in this installment.

Vaughn talked about Moore’s taking on the role of the bad guy in the series and how she pulled inspiration from an unlikely source in Entertainment Weekly’s big San Diego Comic-Con preview issue. It also received a Hall H panel at Comic-Con featuring Egerton, Tatum and other members of the cast and crew.

The movie’s panel at SDCC included the cast and crew but it opened with a fun bit of original animation that placed Eggsy in the animated world of “Archer.” The opening scene from the movie was also shown. After than EW’s fall movie preview included an interview with both Firth and Egerton where they talked about their on-screen chemistry and off-screen friendship.

There was a fun video Fox created to tie into real world events that shows the studio’s marketing team first brainstorming and then executing the solar eclipse as a promotional stunt for the movie.

Egerton, Firth, Moore and a few others did a bit of press and publicity but there didn’t seem to be much. Whether that’s because of any trepidation on the part of Fox, a scheduling issue or something else I’m not sure, but it’s odd to see a lack of interviews and other activity by the main cast.

Overall

I failed to mention at the outset that I’ve not yet seen the first Kingsman movie, so I’m missing some of the context that might be necessary for the second outing. That being said, there’s nothing about the campaign here that makes that knowledge necessary. Meaning I don’t find much about the marketing that assumes the audience knows exactly who these characters are and what they’re up to. There’s the reveal that’s placed at the end of the first trailer, but that’s about it. Everything else just sets this up as a globe-trotting spy caper involving a team of Brits and a team of Yanks trying to stop a vague and ill-defined bad guy.

It’s all played fast and loose here, with tongue firmly in cheek. This is exactly how the first movie was sold, which means it’s in-line with the tone that’s been used to market just about all the cinematic adaptations of Mark Millar’s work, including Wanted and Kick-Ass. Considering that consistent brand tone it’s a bit surprising Millar isn’t name-checked more often in the campaign. Everything that’s here is good enough if you’re inclined toward such movies, promising an action adventure that’s high on style and low on substance.

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