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The Best 2018 Summer Movie Marketing Campaigns

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The 2018 summer movie season is coming to a close — here are the marketing and publicity campaigns that stole the show.

Forget ice cream cones, warm evening breezes, and trips to the beach. The best part of every summer? The blockbuster hits. There’s just something wonderfully refreshing about movies that aren’t gunning for an Oscar nomination, and the unapologetically profit-driven studios behind them.

This summer’s slate of blockbusters has been no exception, brimming with superhero franchises, star-studded heists, elaborate family dramas, and a few redundant revivals sprinkled in for good measure. Below, let’s take a look at the marketing campaigns that stole the show — and see which movies lived up to the hype.

Ocean’s 8

Let’s be honest: the marketing campaign for Ocean’s 8 was a lot better than the actual film. The script was riddled with plot holes and unworthy of the cast’s stellar talents — but that didn’t stop me from paying $14 to go see it. Who could resist the star-studded trailer?

The campaign’s fingers extended in every direction, with an expansive social media advertising campaign, a slate of chic movie posters, and of course, PR engagements from each of the film’s eight stars. If that weren’t enough, promotional partner Cartier even hosted an Ocean’s 8 exhibit at its Fifth Avenue Mansion in New York City.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

You, like me, may have been surprised to see the promotional posters for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. When they first appeared in subway stations around New York City, I simply couldn’t fathom why anyone would care to know what happened after the plot of the first Mamma Mia movie came to a close.

But Universal Studios persisted, and I was ultimately won over by the extended trailer that aired during the Grammy’s broadcast in January. The trailer, combined with unanimous rave reviews of Cher’s performance as Donna’s (played by Meryl Streep) mother, convinced me this sequel was well worth seeing on the big screen.

Related: The Dos and Don’ts of Public Brand Apologies

Crazy Rich Asians

It’s hard to remember a time before Warner Brothers was promoting Crazy Rich Asians and its formidable cast. Based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, the film earned plenty of hype throughout the casting process, and is the first movie in 25 years to feature an all-asian cast.

Cover stories in Entertainment Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter solidified the film’s status as a blockbuster-to-watch, and a slate of promotional partners including Visit SingaporeThe KnotPeach and Lily, and several other retailers contributed to the film’s “I’ve-been-seeing-this-everywhere” effect.

The Incredibles 2

It’s been 14 years since the original Incredibles film came out — and Disney/Pixar tapped into millennial nostalgia to win over older audiences the second time around. The studio began promoting this film over seven months before its release, rolling out promotional poster after promotional poster, teaser trailer after teaser trailer (including during the Olympic games in February), and ultimately holding a number of fan-centric promotional events.

The film’s list of brand partners was seemingly never ending, and with established names like Chrysler, Zillow, Alaska Airlines, and Juicy Juice among them, it’s clear the studio hoped to bridge the generational divide. The film earned just over $180 million during its opening weekend, proving that the studio’s, ahem, heroic marketing efforts were well worth the investment.

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