adwise – zoolander 2

Really, really, ridiculously good marketing

Our adwise series looks at impressive and memorable marketing campaigns. Today we look at the marketing blitz surrounding Zoolander 2.

Zoolander – No. 2

Zoolander 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to the 2001 original which sees both Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson reprising their roles as really, really, ridiculously good-looking male models. We’ve not yet seen the movie and admittedly, the reviews have been somewhat mixed so far, but there’s no denying that the marketing for the film has been as on point as Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows.

Eau de Zoolander
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Image source: Movie Pilot

Drawing inspiration from the fictional world of Derek Zoolander’s celebrity and fame, the movie trailer parodies traditional celebrity fragrance ads. Forget the coveted Chanel No.5, it’s all about Zoolander No.2. Keeping it classy with the tagline “nothing attracts like the scent of number two”, the ad aptly exudes the same humour that we can expect from the forthcoming film and recaptures the attention of Derek’s cult following.

Stiller’s appearance as a majestic cow-centaur is as poignant and moving as one would expect. For those wondering, the cow-centaur is the lesser-known relative of the so-last-season centaur and is a sight to behold in its own right. This unconventional alternative to a movie trailer is a stark contrast from the action-packed trailers we usually see. Furthermore, the more traditional print ads for the ‘fragrance’ have also worked incredibly well, and look fresh off the pages of Vogue itself. This bizarre yet amusing ad is a great example of a brand message being perfectly aligned with its product.

Infiltrating Instagram

Everyone knows that if you’re professionally good looking for a career, then Instagram is the place for you.The social media marketing for the film has been phenomenal. Stiller changed his Instagram name to Zoolander two months ago and has since used the account to relentlessly promote the new movie, remaining in character the whole time. It’s simple yet effective in terms of social media marketing, but it’s proved to be a hit with Stiller’s account finally reaching one million followers.

From crashing a Valentino show at Paris Fashion Week to answering Vogue’s famous 73 questions, Stiller has stayed in character for the majority of the marketing campaign. At the time of the first movie, social media as we know it didn’t exist. Yet, Stiller recognised that the famous Blue Steel pose lends itself perfectly to Instagram and has utilised this for Zoolander 2. It’s completely revolutionised film marketing on Instagram with the @Zoolander account having celebrity cameos from the likes of Katy Perry, Anna Wintour and more. It has successfully blurred the lines between reality and fiction. There’s even a Blue Steel Selfie app which we implore you to check out. The app distorts your features to give you those killer Blue Steel cheekbones, brows and pout. Here’s some photos of us Uprisers being really, really ridiculously good looking.

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Model of the moment

When it comes to advertising, brands want the hottest models to promote their products, so naturally the big brands have all turned to the infamous Derek Zoolander. After all, why should something as trivial as being a fictional character come between real life modelling and the great Derek Zoolander? Derek proves he’s still very much the model of the moment by cropping up in various big budget advertising campaigns for real life brands. Would we expect anything less from VH1’s three-time Male Model of the Year?

Image source: Vogue

Image source: Vogue

He’s been in high demand after starring in Fiat’s latest advertisement for their latest car model, dubbed as “the perfect fashion accessory to complement any look, even Blue Steel.” He’s also been injecting a bit of much-needed humour to Barbie’s social media marketing on Instagram. But perhaps the most surprising brand partnership was Kiehl’s. The skincare brand hadn’t engaged in traditional paid media throughout its 165-year history until now. Working with Night Agency, Kiehl’s decided to launch The Derek Zoolander Centre For People who Don’t Age Good, a nod towards the fictional Derek Zoolander Centre for Kids Who Can’t Read Good. The New York based centre will give people the chance to embrace the opportunity to be “professionally good looking” with skin care trials, lessons on the perfect pants-to-nipple ratio and of course, the opportunity to unleash their inner Blue Steel at the selfie station.

The entire marketing campaign for the movie adds further satire to the fictional world that the movie is set in. In essence, Zoolander is a parody of the fashion world and advertising as a whole, but the marketing cleverly uses the real-life fashion world to its advantage in its efforts to promote the film.


If your business is lacking the Blue Steel allure, get in touch to see how we can make your business prospects really, really ridiculously good looking.

Categories: Design, Digital Marketing

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