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How to Throw a ‘Joker’ Movie Curveball at Content Marketing

Updated: Jan 31, 2021

Joker. When the news of the Todd Phillips-directed film first started circulating, Batman fans became super excited about the concept. There has never been a solo movie that specifically focused on Batman’s biggest archenemy. According to the curveball Todd Phillips and leading actor Joaquin Phoenix threw at moviegoers, Joker is not the answer to those pipe dreams. This movie apparently branches away from the standard DC universe to create a world of its own. However, this creative curveball teaches several major lessons that can boost the success of your content creation and marketing strategy. How?

Find a New Way to Tell an Old Story

Each actor that played Joker character over the years looked at their predecessors and found creative ways to expand on what they initially created. For instance, there were quite a few notable similarities between Cesar Romero (1960s) and Jack Nicholson (1989). Heath Ledger drew inspiration from Nicholson and Leto apparently drew inspiration from Ledger.

However, according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Joaquin Phoenix was attracted to Joker because he and Phillips decided to “approach it in our own way.” As a result, he did not refer to any of the past versions of this iconic character. This means that Joker will essentially create new content from an old story – and all credit goes to the approach.

Your content can (and should) work the same way. If you are targeting a topic that has already been covered numerous times within your online presence (or overall industry), find a new approach. Doing so will boost your traffic and overall exposure, because it will provide your target audience with a breath of fresh air.

Start with the Destination & Work Backwards to Boost Engagement

Another way to throw a Joker movie curveball at content creation is through working backwards – starting with the destination instead of the starting line. Phillips, who also served as a co-writer of Joker, credited this concept with his overall vision for the film. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Phillips stated that he never believed falling into a vat of acid in the real world would turn your skin white and your hair green. However, once “you start backwards-engineering these things…it becomes really interesting.”

The same principle can apply to your content creation – especially when covering either a new topic or when you try to breathe new life into an old topic. Start with the destination: the message that you want to relay and the call-to-action that you want to leave with your audience. Once you target that on your content creation map, you can work backwards and piece the puzzle together. You may surprise yourself when you see just how many doors of untapped ideas you unlock along the way.

Cut the Fat and Drop the Weight in Your Content

Actor Joaquin Phoenix initially had a disagreement with Todd Phillips regarding the appearance of the titular character. Phoenix argued that he should be “kind of heavy” while Phillips felt as if Phoenix “should do the real thin person.” As a result of following the director’s vision, Joaquin Phoenix reportedly lost over 50 pounds for the role.

How does this apply to content creation and marketing? Your vision may be to fill your content to the brim, maximizing your word count and keyword density. However, your target audience needs you to “cut the fat” and “thin out” your content to shine a spotlight on what they need – nothing more, nothing less. You can dissect the value of the content that you create – sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph. “Cut the fat” by eliminating any sign of fluffy or keyword stuffing that may pull your target audience away from engaging with your brand. Doing so will lighten the load of your online presence – making such technical aspects as page loading run smoothly. More importantly, though, it will boost your content creation skills and expand your marketing potential.

Leave Room for Imagination and Interpretation

You could also throw a Joker movie curveball at your content creation strategy by leaving plenty of room for imagination and interpretation. Both Phoenix and Phillips have stated they stayed away from definitive moments when making this movie. Their objective was to break the mold of standard comic book movies and other superhero films – especially since neither of them ever wanted to make one of those films. According to Phoenix, there is something “enjoyable” about leaving a lot of character-related questions unanswered. Why? In his opinion, doing so requires “participation from the audience that feels different.”

How to Throw a ‘Joker’ Movie Curveball at Content MarketingWithin your content marketing plan and overall content creation, make sure that you leave plenty of room for imagination and interpretation. If you try to answer every question and address every concern, you are only cutting the lifespan of your online presence short. Stimulate your audience’s appetite and always leave them wanting (and needing) more.


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