I was overjoyed when I first saw the trailer for the new Wonder Woman film:
Trump had just won the election. I was in a black hole of despair, and the image of a badass brunette Amazon queen fighting Hitler’s armies was exactly what I needed.
I sent it to my sister-in-law, a rabid Wonder Woman fan with a tattoo to match. I sent it to my girlfriends and we promised to plan a movie night. I looked forward to the themes of female strength and resilience that might emerge from a film like this, and yes, it’s just a movie, but goddamn did it feel like we needed it.
And then… nothing. I literally have not heard one thing about this movie since.
Have you? Were you aware that it comes out in a month?! No? No, neither was I.
Until, that is, I came across this stunningly ill-thought-out bit of Warner Bros. marketing on Twitter one day.
Think thin by watching Wonder Woman, in theaters soon! Remember, be thin, stay thin! pic.twitter.com/7LwJRegqgW
— ChillyBilly©™® (@Chillybillz) May 8, 2017
Yes, friends, that’s Ms. Diana Prince herself, daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, advertising the upcoming WW film on a box of ThinkThin protein bars.
We are not amused.
Wonder Woman movie tie-in w/ "Think Thin" protein bars. Was Wolverine used to sell weight loss products? Um, nope https://t.co/xiHovY4HIJ
— Megan Averell (@Meggatron) May 4, 2017
When you see the new Wonder Woman movie partnering with some brand called "think thin"
Waiting for internet reaction like pic.twitter.com/eGYjUcmjm3
— E Latimer (@ELatimerWrites) May 4, 2017
Shilling body-shaming "think thin" weight loss bars is a betrayal of Wonder Woman's character, which is par for the comics course right now
— Bailey (@the_author_) May 7, 2017
Wow I am disgusted. If it was "think healthy" ok maybe but think THIN? Fuck that. Wonder Woman ain't here for body shaming
— Laura Benson (@CrownsAndLace) May 5, 2017
Many movies do cross-promotional marketing. Warner Bros certainly isn’t the first. And on the whole, ThinkThin actually isn’t a terrible company. It’s founded by a woman and creates organic protein bars. But holy shit, WB. Seriously?! The name alone: ThinkThin??
It’s not just that they’ve partnered with a company whose name evokes the same tired thin-equals-beautiful message women have been subjected to for decades, but it also seems like it’s virtually the only marketing they’ve done. This lack of promotion has many in the industry asking why.
Donna Dickens at Uproxx breaks down the promotional efforts (or lack thereof) for the upcoming Wonder Woman movie versus those for last August’s Suicide Squad. Currently, the Warner Bros. official YouTube page lists a scant five Wonder Woman videos compared to 17 for Suicide Squad.
“If you didn’t know Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot was coming out in 36 days as of today, no one could blame you,” she remarks. “Warner Bros. has been weirdly reticent about the marketing campaign for one of the most iconic superheroes in the world.”
Film critic Sarah from Lainey Gossip chalks this reticence up to not having faith in the female-driven film. “It’s not like Warners doesn’t know what Wonder Woman — the film and the character — represents,” she says. “They know it’s the first female-led movie of the modern superhero boom. They know it’s the first contemporary superhero movie directed by a woman. They know it’s the first movie with a budget over $100 million directed by a woman. They KNOW there is history to be made. And they’re choosing not to make it.
“They’re knee-capping this movie because conventional wisdom tells them not to waste money on a girl movie, and that diet bars are a great promotional partnership for a chick flick”
As it stands, we’ve got a hugely significant female-led, female-directed superhero film that’s being crushed between twin evils of tone-deaf promotional efforts and barely any promotion at all.
I was born in the ’80s. I’m a feminist. I have a 4-year-old daughter. I am the prime audience for this film and until seeing a critical post about their boneheaded marketing moves, I had no idea when this movie was coming out.
Warner Bros. has the potential for a wildly successful female film on their hands, and they have no idea what to do with it aside from draw attention to her body shape like they’re still marketing to teen boys instead of intelligent girls and women hungry for a hero.
It’s time to step up, WB. Diana deserves better.