Ant-Man 3 Needs To Continue The Franchise's Best Marketing Trick
The trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania suggests a different tone than the rest of the Ant-Man franchise, but the film should still follow its predecessors’ best marketing tactic. While much of the Infinity Saga relied primarily on high stakes and drama, the Ant-Man series always took a much more unique take to generate hype for its releases. The strategy paid off in the past, and it could do so again in the future.
Despite opening on a comedic note (with Ant-Man being mistaken for better-known Spider-Man), the new trailer grows more somber and suspenseful as it progresses. Funny moments are instead substituted for build-ups, with scenes going from previews of the Quantum Realm to the climactic reveal of Kang. Although this darker tone is well-aligned with the Multiverse Saga founded in Phase 4, so far, the film’s marketing is in stark contrast with what has come to be expected of the Ant-Man films.
The Ant-Man franchise has always stood out for its unusual approach to marketing. As such, the third film needs to follow in those footsteps to maintain the series’ legacy, especially given all the heavy Ant-Man death theories it needs to counter. From Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas’ intense ants chant to the MCU’s ensemble promotion for the sequel (via YouTube), the series has prevailed through eccentric marketing choices. These were present in everything from videos to simplistic posters that highlighted the Ant-Man films’ entertaining essence.
Not only did this tactic present something new and exciting amidst the plethora of slowly-homogenizing superhero content, but it also set up the more lively characters and upbeat feel inherent to the series. A distinct quality of the Ant-Man films is how the characters maintain their comedic aspects within bleak circumstances. The use of strange marketing both reflected those distinguishing factors and set the lighthearted tone of the franchise, attributing largely to its success.
So far, the MCU’s setup of the Multiverse Saga has proven to be less cohesive and more experimental. Yet it has managed to retain somber tones in even its more lighthearted installments, with deeper messages about morality and grief underlining most projects, such as the recent Wakanda: Forever. Ant-Man 3 appears to be maintaining a similar feel as it kick-starts Phase 5, with the carry-over of Phase 4 themes likely being a reason why its marketing is uncharacteristically proper so far.
Gimmicks may not fit the current tone of the MCU and the apparent high-stakes nature of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, especially as it posits Kang as the Multiverse Saga’s perfect villain. However, straying too far from the series’ trademark and untraditional marketing could prove to be detrimental to its release. At this point, obscure marketing has become an anticipated standard for the Ant-Man films. Deviating away from that may hinder the film’s success by removing the unique qualities that helped the series find its own comical voice within the dark and vast MCU franchise.
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