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Published on Nov 1, 2010
Marketing executives at 20th Century Fox faced difficulties in marketing Fight Club and at one point considered marketing it as an art film. They considered that the film was primarily geared toward male audiences because of its violence and believed that not even Brad Pitt would attract female filmgoers. Research testing showed that the film appealed to teenagers. Fincher refused to let the posters and trailers focus on Pitt and encouraged the studio to hire the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy to devise a marketing plan. The firm proposed a bar of pink soap with the title "Fight Club" embossed on it as the film's main marketing image; the proposal was considered "a bad joke" by Fox executives. Fincher also released two early trailers in the form of fake public service announcements presented by Pitt and Norton; the studio did not think the trailers marketed the film appropriately. Instead, the studio financed a $20 million large-scale campaign to provide a press junket, posters, billboards, and trailers for TV that highlighted the film's fight scenes. The studio advertised Fight Club on cable during World Wrestling Federation broadcasts, which Fincher protested, believing that the placement created the wrong context for the film. Linson believed that the "ill-conceived one-dimensional" marketing by marketing executive Robert Harper largely contributed to Fight Club's lukewarm box office performance in the United States.