Deadpool’s Emoji Billboard Is So Stupid, It’s Genius

Patton Oswalt spots a winner

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Twentieth Century Fox is determined not to take its marketing for Deadpool at all seriously. And it's making for one of the more entertaining movie campaigns in a while.

The most recent development happened Wednesday, when Patton Oswald posted a photo of a Deadpool billboard in Los Angeles with a skull emoji, poop emoji and a blocky letter L. So simple, so dumb—yet hilarious. (And no, the movie is not called Skullshittle.)

That followed a Deadpool tweet earlier this week showing a billboard-style ad positioning the Marvel movie as a romance flick (because it's being released around Valentine's Day).

The movie's star, Ryan Reynolds, then posted an Instagram photo of the same image on an actual billboard, framed by Deadpool's hands making a heart shape. "In 32 days, let's cuddle the shit out of each other," he wrote in the caption. 

The tongue-in-cheek campaign has been a big hit with fans dating back to the character unveil—in that amusing Burt Reynolds/Cosmopolitan spoof—from last March. (It's well worth a look at the meta trailer as well.) 

The love-story stuff has been particularly popular, though, and has led to a number of fan-made spoofs, including the mock trailer below. 

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.