Last year’s DC Films slate brought the financially successful Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad to movie theaters, but those releases also transformed how Warner Bros. Pictures approached the marketing of future films.
And with Wonder Woman just over a month away from debuting on silver screens, some people are starting to notice how that approach has changed—though it remains to be seen how successful it is.
While speaking at Oracle’s Modern Marketing Experience 2017 in Las Vegas this week, Time Warner’s Chief Marketing Executive revealed how Batman v Superman’s data-driven campaign looked beyond the scope of the film itself and into its branching media counterparts. That, in turn, allowed Warner Bros. to alter their scope for Wonder Woman.
But Suicide Squad had a different issue in that it worked too well from a traditional standpoint, and the company may have spent more money on the marketing campaign to meet their targets when it released.
It was the first release where we had a strategy to collect data from the first trailer drop, not just for that movie, but across all DC franchises, Every single campaign from then til March of last year needed to be a data collection opportunity.
We used a data-driven approach for that movie [Batman v Superman] and since then, the organization thinks very differently and is going to market very differently today. Six months after that movie came Suicide Squad. It was one of the first movies where we stopped spending before release, because the segmentation and targeting was so effective we were hitting our numbers pre-release.
We already touched on how The CW’s Supergirl changed the marketing for Wonder Woman, as well as how the Gal Gadot-led film has seen more spending than the marketing for Suicide Squad.
These data-driven approaches could have only come after the information they gathered on Batman v Superman and Supergirl.
For Suicide Squad, they realized that they didn’t need to go heavy on the well-received trailers that made fans connect to the characters before the film even hit theaters, and questioned how much they needed to spend on such traditional methods.
This provides some reasoning into where they’ve spent that money outside of traditional marketing techniques like Super Bowl spots. That’s like casting a wide net.
The data allows teams to focus on smaller, targeted, driven campaigns over a long period of time, which they hope pays off big when Wonder Woman premieres in theaters on June 2.
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Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.
Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright, David Thewlis, Danny Huston, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner and Saïd Taghmaoui. Patty Jenkins directs the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns, story by Zack Snyder and Allan Heinberg, based on characters from DC Entertainment. Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.
The film is produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Richard Suckle, with Rebecca Roven, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, Wonder Woman.