One of the greatest things about film marketing is how it can so succinctly summarise the year gone by – and usually in a more concise way than the movies themselves.
Stylistically, 2018 was a year that once again borrowed much from the marketing materials of the past, but managed to push things forward visually too. There were some stunning one-sheets and teasers – here are ten of my favourite.
#10 A Simple Favor
Perfectly tailored for the Instagram-obsessed millennials who might make up its audience, the poster for Paul Feig’s A Simple Favor is as on trend as it is somehow already dated. A great use of colour, font and geometry, it’s a reflection of 2018 that also looks to Hollywood’s past – making it weirdly timeless.
#9 Proud Mary
Blaxploitation was a high point in the history of film marketing, so if you’re looking to recall the era for audiences, you need to come at them with a strong poster that doesn’t rely on the tired grindhouse stylings of the late 00s. Proud Mary had a bunch of them, but for me this was the best.
#8 The First Purge (MAGA)
As every entry in the Purge franchise gets closer to our own painful reality, so too does its film marketing become more powerful. Taking the symbol of Trump’s administration and aligning it with the moment a fictional America crosses a moral line beyond which it can never return is simple, obvious even, but it works so well.
#7 The First Purge (Liberty)
Another slice of American culture is bastardised in this second teaser for The First Purge – and this time it’s the beloved Statue of Liberty that’s up for satirisation. A wonderfully menacing piece of photography that captures a country under the spell of violence, terror and chaos.
#6 Deadpool 2 (Flashdance)
Let’s face it, Deadpool has had his film marketing down from day one. And a character that’s perfectly placed to play with whatever movie tropes, iconography and fourth-wall breaking interplay he wants – should absolutely be allowed to recreate one of the most memorable moments of 1983’s Flashdance in his comic book movie sequel.
It would be easy to be cynical about the movie marketing for Disobedience as ‘hey, come watch two of the hottest Rachels in Hollywood snog each other!’ But actually, this is a piece of photography that does so much more. A stolen, uncertain, dangerous moment captured and framed closely and intimately enough to put you at its centre, it’s a beautiful poster that perfectly conveys the notion of ‘forbidden’.
#4 Anna and the Apocalypse
Zombies, check. Bloodied weapons, check. Christmas tree, check. Unsettling Evil Dead-style font, check. This three-colour teaser print for Anna and the Apocalypse is as simple and effective as it needs to be, with a beautiful use of graphics that tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the film it supports.
#3 Incredibles II (Ironing)
A teaser that makes use of its audience’s familiarity and love for its characters, this teaser for Incredibles 2 urges the audience to join the Parr family in ‘suiting up’ for another animated adventure, while reflecting the mundanity associated with its wider domestic context and setting.
#2 The House That Jack Built
Lars Von Trier is a man who knows how to make audiences feel uncomfortable, so it makes sense that the film marketing for The House that Jack Built would do the same. Peering through a blade-shaped gap in some heavy duty plastic sheeting, Matt Dillion’s Jack does the job brilliantly, with a knowing smile that creates a sense of blackly comic menace.
#1 Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse (Falling)
A great movie poster should be something you want to stare at, something you want to take in. The whole film marketing campaign for Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse was as strong as the masterpiece of filmmaking it promoted, but with this piece of key art, creative agency BLT summarised the wonder, scope and spirit of adventure that made it so special. Stunning.