'Deadpool 2' resurrects Blockbuster with London pop-up
- A new Blockbuster Video store is opening in London's Shoreditch neighborhood to promote the digital download, Blu-ray and DVD release of "Deadpool 2," Yahoo Entertainment reports. The pop-up will be open for two days beginning on Sept. 17.
- The Blockbuster will be a replica in the style of the original store that opened in 1989, but will only have copies of "Deadpool 2" stocking the shelves. Visitors who still have their Blockbuster Video membership cards can jump the line and receive a limited-edition VHS case that includes a code to download the film.
- Visitors without a Blockbuster card can display their own "superpower" to the cashier to receive a Superhero Edition membership card and a copy of the film. The event will also include other retro giveaways. The film studio is planning to give away 1,989 copies to commemorate the year when the store first opened in London.
Opening a Blockbuster pop-up is a clever, attention-attracting way for 20th Century Fox to promote the digital and DVD release of "Deadpool 2." The event taps into several of the film's themes, including time travel and nostalgia, and encourages visitors to reenact and riff on a scene from the movie, which could draw the film's superfans to the activation.
Film studios continue to embrace experiential events to market their releases. The events give fans the chance to engage with aspects of the films, such as characters, props and sets, and usually feature interesting visuals and interactive elements that inspire visitors to snap photos and share them on social media, driving additional engagement for the brands. Fan experiences have been a main feature of "Deadpool 2" marketing. In April, Mike's Harder alcoholic beverage launched a campaign centered around the film's release that included a pop-up based on Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Girls, a bar location in the film.
Reopening a Blockbuster store, combined with the popularity of "Deadpool 2," could be a major draw for millennials, who — despite being the first digital-native generation — have a fondness for nostalgia and the authenticity that they associate with it. More marketers are embracing nostalgia in a variety of ways to make their campaigns resonate with younger consumers.
In its heyday, Blockbuster boasted more than 9,000 stores worldwide, according to Yahoo. Blockbuster tried out subscription DVD and streaming services, but none of these efforts took off, and the company was outpaced by Netflix and other video streaming services. Today, only one store remains, a location in Bend, Oregon, which recently announced a partnership with 10 Barrel Brewing Company on a limited-edition signature beer "The Last Blockbuster."