Learning from ‘Madame Web’: Ways to Amp Up Your Marketing Game

Table of Contents

  • Ayah
  • May 6, 2024

Marketing is all about balancing hype and delivery, and it’s a fine line between success and disappointment. Think about those campaigns that get everyone buzzing, leaving them underwhelmed when the product or service finally drops. Sony’s latest Spiderman flick, Madame Web, is a prime example.

It’s been meme-tastic for ages, but where’s the crowd at the theater? And when they do show up, they’re roasting the film left and right. So, what went wrong? And more importantly, how can you ensure your staffing firm doesn’t make the same mistakes? Let’s uncover the marketing lessons from the film. Ready? Let’s dive in!


The Great Web-Off: Online Hype vs. Theater Turnout

The movie seems set to end its time in theaters with less than $100 million in earnings. This marks another disappointment for Sony’s Spider-Man Universe of live-action spinoffs and raises concerns about the project’s future.1

One major culprit here? The marketing strategy they went with. Let’s examine some of the movie’s shortcomings and see how you can level up your marketing game.

Read More: 6 Common Marketing Mistakes and Here’s How to Avoid Them


Mistake 1: The Spider-Women’s Missing Origin Stories

Just a few months ago, fans were excited when the trailer hit the screens. With Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, and Isabela Merced donning faithful comic book costumes, the promise of three Spider-Women in action was tantalizing.

  • Mismanaged Hype: When fans saw all those Peter Parkers in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the idea of three Spider-Women was enticing enough for fans to give the movie a shot, even with negative early reviews. But the fans were bummed that the movie didn’t explain how these Spider-Women came to be.
  • Inconsistent Messaging: They only showed up as superheroes in a dream sequence, leaving many disappointed.
  • Lack of Transparency: Director S.J. Clarkson tried to ease the blow in a ComicBook interview, explaining, “I thought it would be a bit greedy to do four origin stories. That’s not really fair, is it? I’ve got to share it. Come on. I mean, first and foremost, it’s Madame Web, right? But I hope the exciting thing about it is, this is a tease.”2


Read More: Everything You Need to Know About Tailored Solutions and Productized Services


Extracting Marketing Lessons: Managing the Hype

The movie generated a lot of hype, raising expectations sky-high. Here’s how to wrangle that hype monster and keep things under control:

Read More: Top 5 Marketing Campaigns That Captured Our Imagination

Manage Expectations

Hyped-up trailers and teasers can lead to high expectations when marketing a film. So ensure the final product meets or exceeds what you’ve promised.

In the staffing industry, managing expectations is just as critical as in the film industry. When advertising job opportunities to candidates, setting realistic expectations about the role, company culture, and potential career growth is essential. Overpromising can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction down the line.

Consistency is Key

Just like in a movie, make sure your marketing materials match what’s actually offered. This means keeping your messages consistent. Job descriptions and company profiles should accurately reflect the opportunities available. If you mention perks or benefits, ensure they’re true to reality to build trust with candidates.


Filmmakers weren’t transparent. They didn’t clearly communicate what to expect from the movie to the audience. Certain elements that were hinted at weren’t as prominent as expected, which led to disappointment.

Being honest and upfront is important in staffing. If a job has specific requirements or limitations, tell candidates about them. This includes being open about any challenges or drawbacks. Transparency helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures candidates know what they’re getting into before deciding on a job.

Spin a New Web: Ramp Up Your Marketing Game

Taking cues from the marketing lessons learned, here’s how you can incorporate them into your upcoming marketing campaign.

  • Strategic Teasers: Instead of revealing all details about a job opportunity upfront, strategically tease certain aspects to generate interest and excitement among candidates. This could involve showing unique benefits or career development opportunities without giving away everything at once.
  • Behind-the-Scenes Content: Give sneak peeks of what happens behind the scenes at work, like sharing glimpses into workplace culture, stories from employees, and interviews with hiring managers. This gives candidates a better idea of what it’s like to work with you and helps them imagine themselves in the role.
  • Post-Release Engagement: Just like in movies, they stay connected with fans even after the movie’s out. Do the same with your candidates. Keep engaging with them even after they’re hired. Address any feedback or concerns, offer support, and provide growth opportunities.


Mistake 2: Trailer Memes and Deadpan Interviews

The film became a target for online jokes right after its trailer was released. A line delivered in a dull tone by Johnson, which wasn’t even in the movie, became a meme: “He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died.”

During a press tour, Johnson’s deadpan responses were sometimes surprising in their lack of enthusiasm. She mentioned, “I had never done anything like it before. I probably will never do anything like it again because I don’t make sense in that world.” In a recent interview, she mentioned not watching the movie yet because she doesn’t like to watch her own films, saying, “I don’t know when I’ll see it. Someday.”


Extracting Marketing Lessons: Authentic Brand Representation

Dakota Johnson’s deadpan interviews are getting some heat. Let’s spin this into a learning moment about branding:

Authenticity in Representation

The marketing lesson here is the importance of authenticity in your branding. Genuine and enthusiastic representation can impact how your brand is perceived by the public and can help avoid misinterpretations or negative associations.

You want candidates and clients who trust and believe in your brand. They become great representatives when they genuinely connect with your brand’s values. Clients see this sincerity and trust the candidates you present, leading to successful placements and lasting partnerships.

Read More: X-Ray Vision for B2B Marketers: See Through Your Ideal Audience!

Web Power-Up: Revive Your Marketing Efforts

Johnson may not fully embody the film’s authentic spirit. However, choosing the right person to represent your brand can greatly affect how well you connect with your audience and create genuine interest.

Choose the Right People: When choosing your people, such as managers and employees, ensure they authentically reflect your brand’s values. It’s important they’re genuinely enthusiastic when representing your brand, as this sincerity helps them connect effectively with your audience.

Conduct Thorough Screenings: When hiring candidates to represent your brand, make sure to carefully screen them to see if they can truly express your brand’s message. Look for candidates who naturally show excitement and passion.

Flexibility: In the staffing world, situations can change fast because of economic conditions, industry trends, or shifts in consumer preferences. That’s why it’s important to be able to switch gears quickly when needed to stay on top of things.

This might mean shifting resources to target specific skills or industries in high demand or making changes to address negative feedback by changing your messaging, targeting different audiences, or trying new tactics. Being flexible allows you to stay responsive and effective in dynamic markets.



Feeling inspired by Madame Web’s insights? It’s time to implement those marketing lessons and breathe new life into your marketing strategies. With Allied Insight, we experiment with emerging technologies, embrace fresh ideas, and think outside the box to grab attention and set ourselves apart from the competition.

Like the film, your marketing game should be as flexible as a spider’s web, ready to catch opportunities and adapt through unexpected twists. Reach out to us today, and let’s create a plan that keeps you agile and ready for whatever comes your way.


1 Hughes, Mark. “‘Madame Web’ Box Office Flop Puts Sony Spider-Man Universe in Jeopardy.” Forbes, 25 Feb. 2024, www.forbes.com/sites/markhughes/2024/02/25/madame-web-box-office-flop-puts-sony-spider-man-universe-in-jeopardy/.

2 “Here’s Why Madame Web Didn’t Really Introduce the Spider-Women (Exclusive).” Movies, comicbook.com/movies/news/why-madame-web-introduce-spider-woman-exclusive-sj-clarkson/. Accessed 1 May 2024.


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