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Billboards For Extraction 2 Let You Feel Chris Hemsworth's Sweat

Billboards For Extraction 2 Let You Feel Chris Hemsworth's Sweat

Chris Hemsworth as Tyler Rake holding a young girl in 'Extraction 2.'
Courtesy of Netflix

Netflix's marketing campaign lets you get up close and personal with the action star's sweaty face — literally!

Netflix may be embroiled in a writer’s strike, but that hasn’t stopped them from creating an unusual marketing strategy for their new blockbuster action film.

To promote Chris Hemsworth’s new film Extraction 2, the streamer has erected huge billboards with a photo of the action star that actually drips sweat. The unconventional ad is meant to give audiences the experience of being part of the action.

The film, directed by Sam Hargrave, sees Hemsworth playing black ops mercenary Tyler Rake who survived the first movie and is now “tasked with another deadly mission: rescuing the battered family of a ruthless Georgian gangster from the prison where they are being held,” according to a release.

Extraction 2 relies heavily on practical effects and Hemsworth did many of his own stunts. Since the star was likely sweating up a storm while filming, it seems fitting that Netflix’s attempt at a viral marketing campaign should be covered in sweat too.

Netflix created huge billboards with a photo of Hemsworth as Tyler Rake and added technology to make it drip with “sweat.” Lasers were used to cut tiny holes in Hemsworth’s forehead that would look like pores and then rigged tubes and a water pump to the back of the billboard so they could mimic the look of real perspiration dripping down his face.

The billboards were then plastered across New York and Los Angeles at ground level, instead of overhead, so that people walking by could take selfies and even touch the strange ads.

“Fans want elements where they can interact,” Netflix’s chief marketing officer Marian Lee told Variety. “They want to interact with talent,” she admits. “But they want to participate with interactive and photographable moments. It’s really important to have tangible things that fans can do.”

This bold move is reminiscent of that of director William Castle who was creating viral marketing ploys way back in the 1950s. Castle lured audience members to the theater with gimmicks like vibrating seats, a skeleton that would fly over the heads of the audience, and even ads that offered $1000 to the family of any movie goer who died of fright.

Whether the unusual marketing worked or not is hard to say, but when Extraction 2 premiered on the streaming platform on June 16 it became the biggest Netflix movie debut of the year, raking in an estimated audience of 42.9 million within the first three days of its release. Due to the success of the first two films, Netflix has already announced plans for a third movie.

Now that Netflix has created an interactive way to draw audience members to the streamer, it’s hard to think of how they could top themselves for the next film.

“It’s an interesting dilemma,” Lee said. “We always like to top ourselves. Who knows what insane innovation will be around when ‘Extraction 3’ comes to Netflix.”

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