Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Swiping RIGHT on a film character: Find out how this movie studio promoted its film on a dating app! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

April 20, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

Welcome to “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!” 

According to Jay Conrad Levinson, guerrilla marketing is unconventional, engaging, impactful, and easy to execute. Campaigns of this type create a lasting impression that enables consumers to actively engage with a brand. 

For today’s issue, we’re thrilled to talk about a brilliant guerrilla marketing for a movie.

Continue reading to know more about today’s featured campaign.

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

2016 was a momentous year for comic book fans all over the world as they saw the release of multiple blockbuster films like “Captain America: Civil War,” “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,and “Suicide Squad. 

These movies drew widespread attention from fans and casual moviegoers alike. Aside from these, another film commanded the interest of viewers that year.

The movie’s title?


Photo from Epsilon Reviews

“Deadpool” is a film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The movie revolves around the story of the main protagonist who went from being a special forces operative to a mercenary.

The film was directed by Tim Miller and stars Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson (a.k.a. Deadpool), Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, and Ed Skrein. 

The development for the movie started as early as 2000, however, progress was stalled due to production changes. In 2009, 20th Century Fox started to produce the film. 

Unfortunately, production for “Deadpool” halted in 2011 because of the box office failure of “Green Lantern,” a DC Comics film in which Reynolds starred in. Additionally, 20th Century Fox had concerns about the R-rated nature of Deadpool and its source material.

Due to these unfortunate circumstances, the movie’s production was stalled until 2014, when test footage for the film was leaked to the public. Reynolds attributed this mishap as the reason why the movie was greenlit. 

Aside from that, there was clamor for a “Deadpool” movie from comic book fans. So, once the leak happened, the hype for the film adaptation reached astronomical heights. 

The result? 

The leadership of 20th Century Fox seized the opportunity and moved forward with the production of the flick with a February 12, 2016 release in mind.

So, how did 20th Century Fox market the film? 

As with every other movie, “Deadpool” was marketed through social networking sites, billboards, and TV spots. While this strategy helped build awareness, the marketing team needed to generate more buzz for the film.

To spice things up, “Deadpool’s” marketing team created a Tinder profile for the movie’s protagonist as part of the film’s digital guerilla marketing campaign. 

If you’re not familiar with Tinder, it’s an online dating app that matches users with potential partners based on shared interests and preferences. 

By “swiping right” on each other’s profiles, individuals are matched, allowing them to socialize. On the other hand, “swiping left” means a user isn’t interested in the potential match.

Photo from LinkedIn

Those who saw Deadpool’s Tinder profile found his bio that included his character traits and the date of the film’s premiere. Tinder users who matched with him were given a link to purchase movie tickets.

Was the digital guerrilla marketing campaign successful in generating buzz for the film?


2 weeks before its release, tweets about the movie ranged from 10,000 to 20,000 on Twitter. Additionally, the digital guerrilla marketing campaign on Tinder was talked about on prominent websites such as Wired, ComicBook.com, Reddit, Forbes, and Ad Age.  

The attention the film drew also translated well in its box office numbers. During its opening weekend, “Deadpool” earned a total of USD 150 million in the U.S. and USD 132 million internationally. By the end of its theatrical run, the movie had gained a total of over USD 780 million in profits.

While the digital guerrilla marketing campaign wasn’t solely responsible for the film’s commercial success, it clearly helped in generating buzz for “Deadpool.

What made the campaign work?

The answer is simple: It caught everyone by surprise!

In 2016, no one would have thought to use a dating app to promote a movie. Because of that, users who found out about the stunt were intrigued, and thus, spread the word through social media and word of mouth.

Moreover, the Deadpool character is fun, over-the-top, and larger-than-life. This enabled individuals who saw him on Tinder to actively remember and talk about the film.

We hope you enjoyed today’s feature!

Remember: Guerrilla marketing is a versatile strategy that can help you actively engage with your target audience. When planned carefully, campaigns of this type will enable you to generate lots of awareness and engagement for your brand.

Stay tuned for next week’s “Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!” 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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