Glen Powell Says Sydney Sweeney Orchestrated Meta ‘Anyone but You’ Marketing Campaign

Sydney Sweeney is a marketing genius. That’s Glen Powell’s reasoning for how their rom-com “Anyone but You” went from anything but a success to a box-office and VOD hit.

“The two things that you have to sell a rom-com are fun and chemistry. Sydney and I have a ton of fun together, and we have a ton of effortless chemistry,” Powell told the New York Times. “That’s people wanting what’s on the screen off the screen, and sometimes you just have to lean into it a bit — and it worked wonderfully. Sydney is very smart.”

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Sweeney, who also executive produced the film through her Fifty-Fifty Films banner, was directly behind the “Anyone but You” marketing strategy. It included romantic pictures of her and Powell, longing looks on red carpets, and lots of flirting in interviews. And when Powell and his long-term girlfriend broke up (Sweeney remains engaged to Jonathan Davino, an executive producer on “Anyone but You”), the rumors heated up.

The “speculation played out… exactly as they intended,” the NYT wrote.

“I was on every call. I was in text group chats. I was probably keeping everybody over at Sony marketing and distribution awake at night because I couldn’t stop with ideas,” Sweeney said. “I wanted to make sure that we were actively having a conversation with the audience as we were promoting this film, because at the end of the day, they’re the ones who created the entire narrative.”

Sweeney also was the EP who cast Powell and hired screenwriter Ilana Wolpert.

“Ilana took such a cool, modern twist on Shakespeare[‘s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’], I felt like I was reading an early 2000s rom-com,” Sweeney said. “I loved wanting to be kissed in the rain, wanting to fall in love once I finished reading the script, wanting to cry, laugh, feeling all the feels.”

Part of reliving that early 2000s rom-com era was also recycling some of the marketing tactics that were paramount to the era. There were also new ones, like Sweeney sharing fan-made videos of moviegoers dancing to Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten,” the breakout track in the film, on TikTok.

Like Powell, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group chairman and chief executive Tom Rothman, who also oversees Columbia, found it all to be brilliant.

“You’ve got to get the ingredients in the meal just right: the story, the cast, the filmmakers, the chemistry, the ending,” Rothman said, adding that making any rom-com “is a delicate task. So, if you’re going to make one and go for it theatrically, it better be good.”

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