An unlikely candidate has surfaced amidst the 14th Malaysian general election, calling for the support of Malaysians. Twentieth Century Fox recently unveiled a billboard ad, conceptualised and produced in-house featuring Deadpool with his arms outstretched and the words "Sokonglah Deadpool 2" (Support Deadpool 2). This is part of its marketing strategy to promote the latest film, which will screen on 17 May in Malaysia.
A picture of the billboard was posted on magazine publisher JUICE Malaysia's Facebook page, which garnered over 1.2k reactions, 1,979 shares and 170 comments at the time of writing. Some commented that the billboard was one of the "greatest" ways a company has taken to break the fourth wall in its marketing strategies, while others said that Deadpool has stepped up his game and that he has their vote.
In a statement to A+M, a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox said the company is making sure the ad is in line with Deadpool's character, which is always full of life and craziness, and offers viewers non-stop, over the top laughter with his antics.
"Of course, with the general election just around the corner, we thought Deadpool needed some support too and there is no harm in shouting out loud for it," the spokesperson added. The billboards can be found in Johor Bahru, Alor Setar, Kuantan, Ipoh, Kajang, Ampang, Shah Alam, Subang Jaya and areas around Kuala Lumpur. The company works with Zenith for media buying.
Besides carrying out promotions via online and out-of-home platforms, the company also partnered with energy drink Monster to promote the movie at all 7-Eleven stores. Malaysian multi-partner consumer rewards programme BonusLink is also running promotions to allow consumers to win Deadpool rewards when they use the card. Its marketing strategy also includes having Deadpool meet his fans, the spokesperson added.
The American film studio is not the only company to launch campaigns indirectly related to the general election. Grab Malaysia recently unveiled a limited-edition GE14 Voter’s Kit to be redeemed by users in the GrabRewards catalogue until 24 April. The Voter’s Kit contains an UNDI t-shirt, a Fan of democracy and a RM5 discount promo code for two rides.
Meanwhile, Bosch Automotive Aftermarket Malaysia collaborated with Malaysia’s lip-syncing queen Kak Girl to remind Malaysians to have their car batteries checked. This is to ensure safe travels and prevent car breakdowns, which might disrupt voters’ journeys to their polling stations. The Organisation for National Empowerment also launched a campaign titled #ForwardTogether, to create a positive attitude towards voting, by encouraging youths to assess a party based on its ability to deliver and empower Malaysia’s future.
Does Deadpool have your vote? Well, he certainly has mine.