Can You Ever Forgive Me?


DMM partnered with Fox Searchlight on the theatrical social campaign for Can You Ever Forgive Me? to tell the true story of author and literary forger Lee Israel and her partner in crime, Jack Hock. Our social content encouraged viewers to root for these admittedly prickly, yet charming partners in crime, through “criminally fun” creatives filled with humor and by leveraging the accolades for the film from critics all over the world.



Our social media campaign was executed by anchoring our content on the literary pedigree of the real-life Lee, while continuously weaving comedic mischief into our creatives. By focusing on Jack and Lee’s friendship, highlighting Melissa McCarthy in a “as you’ve never seen her before” role, and combining both an elevated literary feel with a grungy ‘90s NYC aesthetic, we succeeded in capturing the essence of Lee’s story, inviting audiences to connect to the heart of the film.

Partners in Crime (And Friendship)
The two protagonists of the film are not only partners in crime, they also make for a pair of unlikely best friends. We wanted to highlight the duality between Lee Israel and Jack Hock, showcasing their humorous rapport, as well as the natural chemistry of the two leads. Since the juiciest moments of the film take place between these two characters, we wanted audiences to get a glimpse of their story and be enticed to hang out longer with this charming, odd couple.

By focusing on humorous scenes between Jack and Lee, as well as highlighting them in review shot montages and in release announcements in their favorite hang out spots, we were able to entice our audience into rooting for this unlikely pair.

As You’ve Never Seen Her Before
This Melissa McCarthy-focused social media content series touted that fans have never seen her in a role like this before, especially one so serious and defining. When fleshing out this series, we were careful to direct our focus on lighthearted, witty moments. This choice not only allowed for Melissa’s characteristic charm to shine through, but also showed audiences that even though this film is a drama, there’s a solid serving of humor woven in throughout.

Critical Buzz + Literary Gravitas
The film’s protagonist is a complex and complicated character, and we designed our content to show the multi-faceted layers of the real-life Lee Israel. As a nod to her forging letters, we sought to make critic reviews with a literary flair – thus the typewriter critic reviews were born, created by using an actual prop typewriter from the film.

In addition to the typewriter graphics, we were able to utilize short, effective shot montages that captured the heart and essence of Can You Ever Forgive Me? while simultaneously showcasing positive critical buzz.

As positive sentiment began to mount around the film, we shifted our link sharing strategy to incorporate all the positive critic reviews, as well as highlight the film’s Rotten Tomatoes certified fresh status. Not only did we want to nod to Lee Israel’s illegal literary side hustle with the “Forging Certified Fresh” creative, we also looked for clever, subtle winks when incorporating the Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh logo.


At the end of the social media marketing campaign, we generated over 5.1M impressions, 3.2M reach, and over 1M total engagements across all platforms. Our social platform strategies and creatives combined to yield a memorable, criminally fun campaign that brought different dynamics of the film to light — it was truly “one for the books.”


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