- Mike's Harder, part of the Mike's Hard family of alcoholic beverages, created a multichannel campaign to promote the May 18 release of "Deadpool 2," per a news release. The effort features in-film product placement, in-theater content, co-branded digital ads and fan experiences.
- Experiences include a pop-up based on Sister Margaret's School for Wayward Girls, a bar location in the film, where 21-plus fans can place their bets in the "Dead Pool," play on Sister Margaret's pool table and meet mercenaries. The Alligator Lounge in New York City will host the event from April 26-28 and the Slipper Clutch in Los Angeles will do the same from May 10-12, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit DTLA Film Festival. Exclusive Mike's Harder flavors will be served, along with some of Deadpool's favorite foods: chimichangas in Los Angeles and pizza in New York City.
- A Sister Margaret's video will air on late-night TV in both cities ahead of the event. Twelve Harder flavor cans will feature "Deadpool 2" limited-edition packaging and slogans including, "Any Harder and it wouldn't be liquid" and "Not your grandma's sauce." Mike's Harder is also giving fans the chance to win a trip for two to the "Deadpool 2" red carpet premiere and San Diego Comic-Con in July.
Mike's Harder is trying to tie its brand messaging as an edgier, heavier alcoholic beverage into the release of "Deadpool 2" — a sequel to the popular comic book adaptation from two years ago. Sister Mary's is a bar for mercenaries featured prominently in the franchise, making a natural fit for creating the type of immersive out-of-home experience that might help Mike's Harder win over more comic fans.
Pop-up bar and restaurant activations are increasingly popular with marketers as they look to cater to the types of millennial buyers who are frequently cited as valuing experiences over products. Roughly 72% of the age group prefers to spend on experiences as opposed to material goods, according to a 2016 study by the Harris Group. When executed well, these events can also spur people to share their experience on social media, spreading reach and awareness for a campaign beyond the activation itself.
More brands are jumping at the opportunity for "Deadpool" tie-ups following the surprise success of the first film, which had boffo box office performance despite a hard-R rating. Devour frozen sandwiches, part of Kraft-Heinz's Springboard accelerator program, last week released a digital video promotion starring the titular anti-hero.