March 21st, 2022
By: Annette Yang
Grossing over 1.8 billion dollars globally, the 2021 film, Spider-Man: No Way Home broke records to become the 6th-highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing films such as Jurassic World (2015) and The Avengers (2012). With the widespread success of the movie, it's also important to note the staggering 2.5 million dollars spent by the film’s production companies, Sony Pictures, and Marvel Studios, solely on marketing the film. Let’s take a deeper look into how Sony and Marvel used marketing to help the latest Spider-Man movie reach such impressive feats, especially in a Covid-impacted movie economy!
The “Marvel” Brand Sell
To follow the marketing timeline of the film, I’ll begin way back in February of 2021 when Marvel had yet to release the title of the upcoming Spider-Man movie. The main cast of Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon took to their personal Instagram accounts to tease different Spider-Man titles, all featuring the word “home”. These included home slice, home-wrecker, and phone home. The humorous social media stunt drew buzz surrounding what the movie title really was and what kind of story would be released based on the title. The title of the film is a key factor of marketing because oftentimes, people decide to go or not to go see a film based on the title. However, Marvel movies such as Spider-Man, have a significant built-in audience so there is less emphasis on the title being a huge deciding factor on the film’s success.
When the first teaser trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home was released in August 2021, it broke records as the most-watched teaser trailer within 24 hours and has since amassed over 83 million views on YouTube. Following the teaser-trailer release, rumors that previous Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would be featured in the film began to arise. However, the actors kept silent and refrained from revealing any spoilers for the film. In mid-November, the official trailer was finally released and screened in movie theaters across different cities. Main cast Tom Holland even made a surprise appearance at a trailer screening in Mexico City which stirred up even more excited about the film.
Preparing for D-Day
Apart from marketing directly released by the production companies specifically, the film partnered with several brands such as Liberty Mutual, Hyundai, and G FUEL for video advertisements featuring Spider-Man: No Way Home content along with the company’s product placements. These ads worked to promote the movie as well as the partnered companies for a cross-promotional marketing campaign. As the film prepared to finally hit theaters on December 16th, AMC Theatres released a statement that the first 86,000 Spider-Man ticket purchases from specific AMC stubs members would be granted an eco-friendly Spider-Man NFT. Also getting ready for the well-anticipated release of the film, Marvel released a number of movie posters and individual cast posters on social media as fans counted down to release day. When December rolled around, the cast made media appearances on shows such as Good Morning America and Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote the film.
Throughout the marketing cycle of Spider-Man: No Way Home, TikTok played a huge role in advertising for the film. TikTok released platform-exclusive advertisements, filters, and stickers promoting the new Spider-Man movie and fans partook in trends and created TikToks based on their reactions and experiences watching the film. #SpiderManNoWayHome and @spidermanmovie went viral and Spider-Man-related content began to influx everyone's “for you page”. The #Spiderman even garnered 50 billion views on TikTok alone while @spidermanmovie amassed 4.4 million likes across its TikToks. There is no doubt that TikTok played a significant role in the marketing of Spider-Man: No Way Home and furthered excitement within the Marvel fan community. With how big of an impact TikTok had on marketing for Spider-Man: No Way Home, it will be interesting to see how other films utilize TikTok as a marketing tool and how the future of movie marketing will change with the rise of different media such as TikTok.
Annette Yang is one of the Spring 2022 Content Directors. She is a sophomore at NYU Steinhardt studying MCC with a minor in Business. Stay tuned for more amazing content from Annette!