How Movie Posters Inspire Creative Marketing In 5 Simple Steps

Chukwuemeka Ndu, Aug. 14, 2019Creative Marketing
How Movie Posters Inspire Creative Marketing In 5 Simple Steps

The movie was about… let’s say it was a complete waste of time. But you will realise that much later. As for now, you are passing by this amazing poster, looking so classy and realize the urgent need to get the ticket for tonight. How does this happen? That’s what we are calling marketing magic (or creative marketing), brilliant ideas mixed with the perfect design and customers' interest for uncertainty.

Too often designers prefer to go with the standard option, being too afraid to risk. That’s how those posters with 2 girls and a guy standing between them (we know, it’s a love triangle!) are born. There is just one word for that – boring. I picked some of those boredom incarnations, with typical designer solutions. Looking at them, you pretty much already know who is with whom and how it’s going to end. These examples are here with the sole purpose to make a contrast to the genius ad works which we will discuss later. More movie poster cliches.

the perfect guy movie poster

Well, now you have an idea of how NOT to design posters. Now it's time to see what we can learn from the really talented works. Movie posters can be an excellent lesson of visual marketing and a source of marketing inspiration. Let’s learn from the best!


Ok, this is not new. But commonly marketers are trying too hard to hide the weak sides of their products. Why not go the other way, and proudly show them? Here is a perfect example of how an obvious fail was veiled and came out looking attractive.

Have you ever thought about how to create a poster featuring quotes of the honest critics' reviews and still make it a very successful movie? The advertisers of the recent ‘Legend’ film definitely know the secret. The film has very poor reviews, but look at the poster!

marketing tips legend movie poster

Please, count the number of stars, and you will notice that between the heads of the main heroes hides a 2-star review by ‘Guardian’. Basically, there are only two 5-star reviews out of 12. The viewer has an illusion that all twelve sources are giving brilliant feedback. This is definitely a sample of witty marketing.


Making smart and truly frightening scary movies poster is a very challenging task. Everyone is fed up with blood, skulls and toys without eyes. Designers of ‘Sinister II’ used all those cliché but still found ways to make it look original and memorable.

marketing poster Sinister II

This moving child’s face, these hanged figures on ‘II’ and a bloody face on the wall together with an ironic tagline – in sum make the poster look scary and easy to remember.

Designers used all the elements of creative marketing and made them look original. This is a good lesson: don’t leave any element without a personal touch.


An important part of the successful poster is a certain portion of risk that designers are ready to take. Risky posters often look provocative, and that surely attracts the audience. The logic chain is working: risky poster = nontraditional film = new impressions.

ant-man marketing poster

The ‘Ant-man’ minimalistic poster grabs your attention at once. You see only a few lines of text and a little dot in the middle. This is not what you could expect from ‘Marvel’ and that’s why it works.

Don’t be scared to try something new and extraordinary. In the end, only this type of content really matters, no one is interested in copies.


The designers of ‘Ex Machina’ were solving a complicated quest. They had to combine the robots and the intellectual plot of the movie. Knowing the number of 'robot stories' coming out each year, you realize it’s hard not to slide into using cliché. Well, they added just a little detail that turned a regular poster into thought-provoking artwork.

marketing ex machina poster

Designers used a quote with a sufficiently complicated lexicon. This tiny detail allows you to feel smart. And that’s what everyone needs. Great move!


Who said you have to be serious all the time? The designers of ‘Dope’ definitely know that balancing between cheap design and childish immediacy pays off. What I’m trying to tell, you don’t have to be flawless all the time, allow yourself to be spontaneous. Your customers will feel the positive energy and irony!

dope movie marketing tips

Get some more  inspiration from Marketing campaign lessons from horror movies.

You can find inspiration for your next creative marketing campaign absolutely everywhere, and it’s wise to adopt ideas from different sources. Where do you find inspiration?

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