‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Marketing: More Sizzle Than Sex

February 3, 2015 7:33 PM

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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Marketing: More Sizzle Than Sex

To tantalize audiences on Valentine’s Day weekend into seeing “Fifty Shades of Grey,” one of Hollywood’s most sexually provocative studio offerings in years, the film’s marketing campaign takes a less-is-more approach. Sex may sell, but Universal Pictures and Focus Features are intent on wooing women without going too far, in order to successfully launch the $40 million bigscreen adaptation of E.L. James’ novel, which became a massive bestseller thanks to its graphic sex scenes.

One of the main images on billboards and in online ads shows female lead Dakota Johnson (as Anastasia Steele) in a sultry pose with her arms raised above her head, appearing as if they’re tied up, with Jamie Dornan (Christian Grey) about to kiss her. The tagline reads: “Curious?” — a question design...

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