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Deadpool: How to Advertise in 2018 – Wisecrack Edition

Deadpool: How to Advertise in 2018 – Wisecrack Edition


Hey everyone, disembodied Jared here, back to talk about the merc with a mouth. Now, Deadpool probably means a lot to you. Its
sharp wit is a welcome reprieve from a torrent of superhero movies, “Besides… nobodies getting hurt.” and we’re sure Deadpool 2 will be no different. But I’m here to talk about something else. Not only, as we’ve mentioned previously, is Deadpool a kind of microcosm for the ironic distance that pervades our culture, but it represents a lot more. Does Deadpool hold the secret to how people can get you to buy more stuff? Welcome to bla bla bla. And NO spoilers ahead?
Can we say that? Let’s begin our story with the most recent adverts for Deadpool 2: The teaser at the beginning of Logan, and the “Wet on Wet” trailer. Both of these succeed
for a very simple reason: they actively refuse to do what normal promotional material should
do. In the Logan teaser, Deadpool makes takes too long changing in a phone booth while a
hapless civilian gets brutally assaulted. In the end, he’s too late. “If I’m honest
with myself I probably should have just called 9-11.” The whole thing pokes fun at one of our culture’s oldest icons: Superman. And, for good measure, a random essay about Old Man and
the Sea.We’re still scratching our head at that one- maybe it has something to do
with Logan and Santiago’s sacrificial nature? I dunno. In the trailer “Wet on Wet,”
Deadpool dons a sweet fro and a soothing baritone imitating Bob Ross’s “The Joy of Painting.”
Even before Deadpool, our cultural obsession with Bob Ross has always included a little
dose of irony. “And if you tell ANYONE that that bush is there, I will come to your house and I will cut you.” The wholesome public television show full of dad humor and happy little trees became an internet sensations. Its naive authenticity became a joke for disillusioned millennials. “But I’m not a very good fisherman I take
the hook carefully out of his mouth, put a bandaid on him, a little CPR, pat him on the
TUTU and put him back in the water.” In Wet on Wet, the colors are movie jokes,
Bob Ross’s very real obsession with whacking his brushes is highlighted. “Whack that off
real good. juuuust beat it like an ??” “Shake off the excess. I just beat the devil out
of that. Its really the most fun part of it.” And the chief engineer is one Geordie Laforge.
Both of these are awesome, right? When I saw them in the theater people were losing their
s***. But is there something more to it than just “it’s funny?” If anything, these
promotions are anti-promotions. By flaunting their absurdity, they mostly avoid teasing
the actual movie they’re promoting. Hell, the first Deadpool movie marketed it as a romcom at one point. “Surprise. This is actually, lucky you, a love story.” Instead of promises of cool fight scenes and
a suspenseful plot, the whole pre-Logan trailer just raises doubts about superheroing in general.
“What the f*** is a phonebooth doing on a street corner?” and Wet on Wet has a real
trailer packed onto the end of a series of not-so-subtle innuendos with no relation to
the movie itself. “Wish I could get high on all of life’s splendor..God I love cocaine.”
And here’s the point: the secret of self promotion in 2017 is to make fun of the very
fact that you’re being self promotional. “That’s supposed to sell deoderant? Talk
about something real. Like the smoothe sophisicated scent of old spice.” The secret is cynicism. But to understand
why this is uniquely successful today, we have to turn back to a guy who lived in a
barrel and made philosophy out of pissing in public. Diogenes the Cynic was one of the
progenitors of Western cynical philosophy. It’s disputed whether or not he’s the
reason we use the term “cynicism” to describe his school of philosophy. But, the term “cynic,” which in Greek means “dog-like,” was at the very least an insult hurled at Diogenes
by his contemporaries. But either way, he really embraced the term, and made a habit of urinating and fornicating in public, just like our four-legged friends. Never one to half-ass anything, he even tried eating raw meat. Not unlike our foul-mouthed hero, Diogenes spent his time berating the customs and habits of his peers. Whereas Deadpool may successfully typecast his peers. “Oh come on. You’re gonna leave me all alone here with less angry Rosie O’Donnell?” Diogenes would do things like: stomp on Plato’s carpet yelling “I trample on the pride of Plato,” running into Plato’s classroom
with a plucked chicken screaming “Behold, Plato’s man!,” and ordering his remains
to be thrown over the city walls so that wild animals could feast on his corpse. The point, for Diogenes, was to be relentlessly cynical towards the habits and customs of the well-to-do Athenians. If they viewed themselves as noble purveyors of truth, Diogenes would carry around a lantern in broad daylight telling those around him he was searching for an honest man. If they thought defecating in public was beneath the dignity of a civilized man, Diogenes would drop trou right in the middle of the agora. It’s not entirely different than
the superhero that refuses to be a hero. “Ooo, Cherry Garcia Icecream? You gonna eat this?” But despite their similarities, Deadpool and
Diogenes are fundamentally different, at least according to the logic of philosopher Peter
Sloterdijk. For Sloterdijk, if Diogenes represented a pointed criticism of his contemporaries,
cynicism today has become “universal and diffuse,” permeating every aspect of our
culture. News, film, videogames, are all made cynically, and we
even perform our jobs with a cynical indifference. The logic boils down to “Hey, at least it’s
a paycheck,” on a global scale. Sloterdijk was writing in the 1980s, but he might as well have been writing today. If Diogenes publicly performed in such a way to rid the world of bad ideas, modern cynicism is merely a resignation to the fact that everything is terrible. And while Deadpool is perfect proof of universal cynicism that doesn’t actually change anything. Also consider the steady stream of self-aware advertising that succeeds by virtue that it rejects its very premise. “Marketing gimmick. Hot Women! Hot Men! Even the rabbit’s an 8/10.” Lebron James made a Sprite commercial for the Super Bowl where he ironically and repeatedly affirms that he’ll never tell you to drink Sprite. “Let’s get one thing straight. I’d never tell you to drink Sprite, even if I was in a commercial for Sprite, which I am.” Newcastle made a Super Bowl ad about how they couldn’t afford
a Super Bowl ad. “Turns out they didnt even have the money or permission to make a Superbowl
commercial, they can’t even say Super Bowl.” “Basically, the only thing I haven’t done is a nude scene
and get paid a s*** ton of money to be in a commercial for a beer I don’t even drink.” Cards Against Humanity made a whole Black Friday campaign out of mailing people poop. And if “mailing people poop” is a metaphor for successful marketing in our modern age, Deadpool’s advertising is the creme de la
turd of film promotion. “Hold each of your manberries or as I like to call them smooth criminals,” Trailers that aren’t trailers. A superhero who is not a hero. For Brazil’s
Comic Con, Deadpool released a video where he offers a supposedly heartfelt attempt to connect with his Brazilian fans by saying. “To show my dedication to the legions of Brazilian deadpool fans, I’ve spent up to 20 minutes on Google translate, as well as countless hours watching telenovelas, to teach me everything about your official language,” before offering up a clearly not Deadpool
voiceover. “Here goes…” But perhaps nothing exemplifies this trend like a recent Rick and Morty Old Spice Ad. Rick Sanchez introduces some anthropomorphized Old Spice products in a bored monotone before counting the thousands of dollars he just
made for the shameless promotion. For Sloterdijk this is what separates modern cynicism from the cynicism of Diogenes. Our modern economy is “compatible with nothing quite so much as” the lamentations about the corrupting effect of almighty money. “Money makes the world go round, isn’t that terrible?” What makes this work for advertising, to use Sloterdijk’s words, is that cynicism is “criticism with limited liability.” Deadpool can joke about the budget constraints of his own movie, “Big house. It’s funny how I only ever see two of you. It’s like the studio couldn’t afford another X-man” or even its own lead. “You think Ryan Reynolds got this far on his superior acting method?” And in doing so protects itself from any judgments about budget constraints or acting resumes. For Sloterdijk, This is fundamentally different than the cynicism of Diogenes. Diogenes met the customs and ideas of his peers with pure, satirical laughter, it worked because he also constructed an alternative: living like a stray dog out of a giant barrel. In response to the contemporary definitions of citizenship, he declared he was a citizen of the world. Rather, our modern cynicism lacks any alternative. Whereas some thinkers posited that the masses will follow their leaders with a “false
consciousnesses,” a metaphorical wool pulled over their eyes, Sloterdijk posits that modern Cynicism is “enlightened false consciousness.” We are acutely aware that there is wool over our eyes, but we say fuck it – Wool is warm and cozy. Creators may know an advertisement is stupid, “HeadOn your commercial is so annoying but you got a great product,” or a superhero trope is overused, “Superhero landing! She’s gonna do a suprhero landing! but hey, gotta pay the bills, right? “Woo! Superhero landing!” The alternative is to make a movie that no one watches. Or a Youtube video. I’m still hurt about that one. Consider the painting
at the end of “Wet on Wet.” It’s an alteration of Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want,” depicting a wholesome family ready to eat a giant, merica-sized turkey.
Part of his Four Freedoms series, based on the FDR speech, the message was: here’s what makes America great:, the freedom to pray, to eat a ton of meat, to feel safe, and to speak your mind. In typical Deadpool fashion, a wholesome image is robbed of its original meaning. This is another microcosm of our cynical era: straightforward defenses of any kind of values are scorned as naive at best, and at worst, are vulnerable to being wrong. Consider the worst advertisement of the century: Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad where a can of diabetes-water brings together protesters and riot cops. On one hand, we all cringed because the ad cynically watered down social movements to sell soda. But the real mistake was to defend anything at all, even if , behind-the-scenes, it was cynical. If the ad added a few “Do not attempt in real life” or “results
not guaranteed,” we would have all laughed at such a self-aware ad. Cynical advertising, up front about its own cynicism, is smart advertising – it’s advertising with limited liability.
So it shouldn’t surprise us that figures like Superman, a symbol of heroism and goodness, or Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want draw the ire of Deadpool. Sloterdijk quotes Georg Simmel who said “the more money becomes the sole center of interests, the more we see honor and convictions, talent and virtue, beauty and health of the soul mobilized” on money’s behalf, the more a “mocking and frivolous mood” will arise regarding these values, “which are offered for sale for the same kind of value as goods on the weekly market.” Deadpool is the embodiment of this “frivolous and mocking mood.” Because heroics and values are for sale, how are we not supposed to laugh at them? “Please don’t make the supersuit green, or animated.” And because there exists no conceivable way to escape the system we criticize, like perhaps Diogenes the Cynic could, what else are we to do? So what do you think? Is cynicism i marketing the best way to advertise these days? Let’s find out.

100 thoughts on “Deadpool: How to Advertise in 2018 – Wisecrack Edition

  1. Why is it sincerity is seen as naive? bob ross was part of the military, and he had to spend time in Alaska, the man isn't blind to the horrors of mankind…

  2. Diogenes seems more like an Absurdist, granted that's where the term Cynic was coined but the school of Cynicism ends up more like Plato, it does defy convention but mostly by brutal honesty to the point of alienating everyone. Plato was a Cynic in the sense he was from a rich family therefore didn't need to impress anyone for funding, whereas the school of Sophism did, selling their talent as educators to the aristocratic class. So Plato became this fairly abrasive character, some have described him almost as an intellectual fascist due to his superiority complex, but really as I said, he just didn't tolerate bullshit, he had no time for it.

    So basically your so-called resignation to the "at least it's a pay-check" interpretation of Cynicism is actually more like Sophism, where you tolerate insult for the sake of impressing the Aristocrats for funding, which makes sense, we are a Sophisticated society and it is under economic circumstances that culture springs.

    I'd say Deadpool takes on the Hawkeye Pierce brand of Cynicism we see in MASH and even in modern hospital culture, deflection of stress by witticism, a psychological defence mechanism that helps keep a healthy detachment from the situation. Doctors and other staff or M.E's for the coroner can develop a dry, inappropriate or even dark sense of humour in the job.

  3. Don't underestimate Plato, he had the power to have Diogenes dragged away for good, he didn't, because despite how it may appear, Plato respected Diogenes and likewise, Diogenes respected him, they were friends.

  4. That's Sophism, money oriented, Diogenes and Plato for that matter didn't give a rats about money, so they weren't doing what they did for it, it's no comparison. Yeah Deadpool doesn't do it for money but he is fictional, Ryan Reynolds and the entire production team does do it for money ultimately, yeah creative expression is in the mix but that's a means to an end, not an ends unto itself.

  5. Diogenes: Fuck yo couch, Plato!! Fuck yo couch!

    Also Diogenes: What do I look like? Grinding my muddy feet into somebody's couch. Now why would I do something like that?! You just don't go and grind your feet into somebody's couch. Yeah, I grinded my feet into Plato's couch!!

  6. i think when cynicism is used correctly it can be a great utility but the way it gets used in ads and most media it mostly comes off as a cheap trick to fool the masses into the idea that it is some kind of intelligent semblance of humor. The way i see it there is a huge difference between using it for fooling the masses and using it as a means of making intelligent humor and a message. Granted usually a screwed up message heh but a message all the same =)

  7. Money makes the world go round. Isn't that terrible? No, not really. It makes for a society where businesses compete to provide the best they can to the public, otherwise they will lose to the competition. This is a core concept of democracy. All leftists idiots that advocate against Capitalist are totally against democracy, in so far as they want a system where "higher values" (AKA, the values of a privileged few) rule over everyone. The very fact that Capitalism is impersonal and money is the only common denominator sets it as a higher and better standard.

  8. This modern Cynicism and self awareness has become so dull and overdone at this point, and most of the time done wrong. And the result is cringeworthy. In the context of Deadpool, it makes sense. But in shameless commercials etc, just no… stop it.

  9. HyperNormalisation, everyone knows things are fake but since they are no better alternatives to the status quo everyone ends up playing along.

  10. Oh ya cynicism is all good in advertising, but as soon as a politician says none of you really matter because you're poor everyone gets offended

  11. If someone can find an english subtitled video of Violencia Rivas (not Violeta Rivas, it's a parody) from Peter Capusotto, you'll see Diogenes Cynism at its best.

  12. After multiple months I just realized the joke at the end:
    Have a Cigar by Pink Floyd – a song about the process of selling out. Actually, a song about selling out on an album about selling out – would this be a perfect representation of this idea of universal cynicism? Well, since the real point of the album is how selling out hurt their band, maybe not? Please, I need an answer!

  13. I like that idea, "I know I've got wool over my eyes, and I don't care, it feels nice". Commercials and other bullshit tries to sell itself as something amazing and fool it's audience, basically treating them like idiots. Meanwhile a satirical approach cuts that and brings itself down to the same level as it's audience, it's nothing special and there are even a few problems, but people already know the good parts so they still have a positive opinion of it.

  14. You should have mentioned happy gilmore wayne's world and jack and jill, adam sandler films are infamous for their product placement but happy gilmore had the genius idea to get around it by being so ridiculously blatant with it it came of as satire similar to wayne's world who made a point of holding up every marketable product in existence while making a speach about corporate greed, Jack and jill then tried to do the same thing by making sandler an ad executive but they overplayed their hand and were just a terrible film in general

  15. You forgot something wisecrack. The illusion (of a magic trick) is often broken when one explain how it’s done.

  16. You're out of the end failed sorry, you need to make fun of the product more in order to be successful.

  17. thank you wisecrack, this is the second video that inspired my assingments for university, last semester i did one on your Philosophy of "Get out", and this one aswell, as im in a Marketing and Advertisement degree this is perfect!!

  18. There's a commercial for the new Teen Titans animated movie where Slade rips on Deadpool for 20-30 seconds before begrudgingly telling his audience to go see Deadpool 2 because it comes out before his own movie. So a DC character from a children's movie just told his audience to go see the R-rated Marvel movie. THAT sets some kind of standard.

  19. You really don't understand millennials if you think his popularity is a joke. People just like unironic positivity and a chill personality in an era of everything being too much and too fast. The enthusiasm for Bob Ross himself is unironic, despite his parodies being fully ironic.

  20. Yeah, but Deadpool 2 is a flop. It did fine, I guess, but quite a bit less than the first. This isn't just a small reversal, this is a disaster, isn't it? Because it cost a LOT more. Also, studios aren't happy with even doing the SAME business as the last one . . . they're banking on it BUILDING on the brand—it's supposed to do much, much BETTER. That's just the reality, even though people seem to like it pretty well, and it didn't BOMB. So how can a movie that didn't bomb be a flop? Hollowood Accounting, man. It's fucking NUTS. Trust me on that.

  21. I'm glad that I saw this. My son tricked me into letting him go see it. He told me that he was going to go see a movie called Swimming Pool 2. He said it was about life guards.

  22. Well, if you don't have an alternative to the system ready, you work within the system to change it! That's why democracy is nice, it enables you to do that… at least outside of the US. In the US, it's just a money game.

  23. David Foster Wallace actually addresses this condition in his essays. His approach was something called neo-sincerity. Its quite fascinating.

  24. aw man… i liked it until you mentioned fucking solterdaijk. That dude's such a douche, I had to turn your video off immiadiately. Sorry. Not really constructive criticism here, its a good video I suppose… I just hate the dude.

  25. "'As warm as wool over your eyes', just in time for the consumer reminding you to live now and pay later, comes 'Truth In Cynicism'".

  26. Looking back on the bob Ross trailer too showing the finished painting being a mockery of that family eating the turkey still tells you something about the film considering the theme of the movie was the F word, family

  27. The only thing that has annoyed me with this channel in the past is that your very sincere voices are used, for great effect, to say some pretty profound things AND to promote completely unrelated meaningless products. I always find it jarring. So thank you for this ending. I laughed and the unease I've always felt fell away.
    So yeah, it works.

  28. I think a lot of the self aware/ cynical advertising is very cheesy & tends to be annoying, it's basicly jacking off the fact that your reluctantly advertising a product yet STILL ADVERTISE THE AD. The Deadpool AD & basicly all of the Rick and Morty ads work best because of a combination of not trying to put on an act/try to be hip as well as the comedic effort put into place whereas some other similar ads seem like an office joke: can be funny at 1st but usually isn't & again comes off cheesy or "trying to be hip".

  29. yah we are more cynical these days because we have become more stupid.
    Diogenes was cynical because he was enlightened.
    thats the difference!

  30. Yeah id rather see something clever than some hot people enjoying the product. There was one beer commercial i forget what brand but the can they were advertising slid right by another brand i was like holy shit thats great

  31. This made me think of the metamodernism video essays that I've been seeing around lately, are there any examples of metamodernist advertisements or is it too early for that? my impression is that advertising usually waits until something is past it's prime before using it as a sales technique but maybe im wrong

  32. so if you're mocking advertisement with limited liability for having limited liability while pretending to be like them are you also having limited liability? is that liability somehow extra limited?

  33. Omg, I think I like the fact that Jared is wearing sunglasses, a hoodie and smoking more than the purpose of him doing it

  34. great no youve just made me hate self awareness in ads cause its the very thing that allows us to escape is now monitized and now we have many wools over eyes and i hate it

  35. from this logic which I agree with the only way to make your cynicism matter is to separate yourself from what causes you to be cynical

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