Connecting Imaginary Dots: When to Expect ‘One Piece’s Promotion

one piece trailer

A new rumor has hit the web, hinting that Netflix’s upcoming live-action adaptation of One Piece may not release until August 31st. The news dropped just a week after we got our first official look at the adaptation, which gave us a simple tease of the main cast from behind; a perfect way to hint at what’s to come. The biggest confirmation from the first look was also the fact that we’ll be getting the series at some point in 2023. Now, with a new rumor hinting at when it might release, maybe some old releases may help point to when we can expect more news throughout the years.

Cowboy Bebop’s Rush

At first, the closest comparison would be the live-action anime adaptation from 2021, Cowboy Bebop. Yet, that series actually raised some concern about how exactly Netflix would try to market the series, as its entire marketing runtime started with the first look on August 23rd. Not just that, they showed the cast in a simple set photo and already confirmed the release date of November 19th. We didn’t get an actual poster until September 24th alongside the remade opening for Geeked Week of that year.

Our first actual footage of the show arrived on October 19th with the “Lost Session” teaser. In retrospect, it was a great little teaser that was closer to what Cowboy Bebop feels like than the actual show itself, which had a much slower pace in comparison. Ironically, we still wouldn’t get an actual trailer of the show until October 27th; only 21 days before the actual release.

Given we got the first poster before even a cast image, it seems like One Piece is getting more attention than the previous Tomorrow Studio collaboration. Given it was only truly promoted for less than three full months, it almost seems like Netflix was desperately trying to hide the show and it never got a chance ahead of its cancelation on December 9th.

The Sandman’s Drag-Out

So, there’s another major release and adaptation that may offer a hint at how we can expect the release window for the future. Taking a glance at The Sandman, however, it seems like some marketing ploys can even drag out a bit longer than one might expect. We got our first look at the adaptation back in 2021; September 25th to be exact with a variety of character posters and first footage as part of Geeked Week of that year.

Yet, we wouldn’t really get anything else out of the series until a new key art poster was released on June 6th that confirmed a release on August 5th. We also got a few new character posters. So, we got the exact release date around two months ahead of its premiere with the trailer following on July 24th. So, Netflix once again held onto that full look at the series until the last possible second even as we already got footage the year before.

Netflix really likes to keep a more intense promotional window for a series shortly before its release. There are some similarities with One Piece given that we got some behind-the-scenes footage for the new series during Geeked Week on June 6th, 2022. So, the early showcase isn’t too different but this time we had to wait half a year before we got any key art for the adaptation.

Wednesday’s Balance

The Sandman isn’t the only major 2022 release, as we also have the massive success of The Addam’s Family remake focusing on Wednesday Addams. Ironically, Wednesday has the perfect balance between the two with a shorter promotional window but adding quite a few smaller snippets to promote the adaptation before we get our first actual teaser or trailer.

Back in May of this year, we got a poster for the series hinting at a Fall 2022 release that gave us a tease of what to expect with a caricature of Wednesday Addams. That was swiftly followed by a teaser on June 1st giving us our first look at Thing before Jenna Ortega was unveiled just five days later. It was our first look at the series and was given quite the highlight during Geeked Week with a still image and small teaser video. We would have to wait until August 17th before we got a teaser trailer.

The fact that we had a trailer without a specific release window is quite curious as we wouldn’t find out its release date was November 23rd with the second poster that was released on September 23rd. So, the two-month window is still there for the release date but this time we saw footage around three months before. This time around we didn’t get any character posters until November 2nd though, as the focus was mainly on Wednesday; it’s titled after her.

It’s no surprise that the series would go on to break viewership records, as the series had the most stretched-out advertising campaign with a steady build-up towards its release and giving viewers a bit more time to build up interest in its release. It’s curious how that release date confirmation is always around two months ahead of its release and something that Cowboy Bebop surprisingly unveiled the earliest out of all projects with the shortest marketing campaign.

One Piece’s Potential

So, we have very distinct pieces of a puzzle to potentially connect when we may expect a release for One Piece. As it stands now, we only know that the series will “set sail in 2023” and we got not one but two key visuals for the live-action adaptation. There is one similarity with The Sandman stretch-out as we got a first tease all the way back in 2022 just as they were filming the project, but it wasn’t as extensive.

Of course, any of this is just speculation based on behavior partners on how Netflix promotes its series. There’s a lot of optimism if a series is given time to breathe ahead of its release, as rushing it out and not giving anyone time to really take it all in like with Cowboy Bebop just dooms a project from the get-go. It’s why many movie trailers drop six months in advance and we don’t hear anything until we’re actually closing in on the release date.

The best comparison is likely Wednesday with the teaser poster releasing early and no confirmed release date. While it would’ve been nice to get a “Summer 2023” inclusion, it does seem that Netflix wants to keep some flexibility on when exactly it’ll drop but with the rumored release date, we may have some potential wiggle room on when we could expect something.

There is one major anchor that gives us some orientation on when we can expect a major drop for the series and that is Geeked Week. It has taken place at the beginning of June 2021 and 2022. So, it may be safe to assume it’ll once again take place around that same time window and Netflix will definitely want to promote one of its biggest releases during that event.

Wednesday had the benefit of having its first poster drop around the time Geeked Week took place, so for that time window we’d have to consider the time window is a bit longer but not as out-there as The Sandman was. Still, it makes it challenging to figure out just how much they’ll plan around that event and try to keep everything for the “big reveal” during Geeked Week or not.

Potential Marketing Roadmap

So, after all that deduction: here’s a potential timeline based on previous projects on when we might expect teases to promote the One Piece series:

  • January – Teaser Poster & Key Art
  • April/May – New Poster, First Full Look at Cast
  • June – First Trailer and Release Date (Geeked Week 2023)
  • July – Second Trailer, Character Posters
  • August – Release on Netflix

It’s a very rough estimate but it’s hard to say if we’ll see anything before May, even if it would be great to drip-feed at least something. Still, an optimistic look would be to see a photo of the cast in their outfits around April, as they start promoting the series through a variety of interviews with showrunners, and the cast. Perhaps we’ll even have a statement from Eiichiro Oda; whose support may push this series into the spotlight it needs. The time window would also match the two-month wait between Geeked week and the first trailer. Still, it doesn’t seem likely we’ll get any real information for a few months given there’s no time window included with the posters.

Where the optimism comes in is the expectation to really see the ball rolling as of May with something new hitting every month if they truly are going for that 31st August release date. A series based on pirates is perfect for a summer release and with their two-month rule, we’ll likely see a trailer around June. What is in June? Geeked Week, of course, if they remain consistent with the last few years. So, we may get a poster either shortly before to promote its appearance or worst case alongside the trailer.

If we get any tease for One Piece in June, we can safely bet on an August release. Netflix really likes building around that event and it would seem fitting if they get their own segment and plenty of promotion. Wednesday‘s success may also play a factor in their hopes to replicate that same momentum to break more records with a series that is based on the most popular manga.

Of course, this isn’t something one should take as a definite time window, as anything related to the project could shift any of these predictions. They are mainly based on what has come in the past and how Netflix seemingly operates with its biggest releases. One thing is certain: this isn’t another rushed drop like with Cowboy Bebop and Netflix may be wanting to make this as big as they can to ensure its success to establish the next Stranger Things level series.

Source: IGN, Den of Geek, Comic Book Movie, The Illuminerdi, Deadline, Twitter, ScreenRant, PureWow, Netflix, YouTube

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