Or at least that’s what a a wraparound ad on this week’s Publishers Weekly states. (The ad in itself is a bold, pricey buy.)

The books spotlighted for the campaign are FBP, Coffin Hill, Brother Lono, Trillum, The Wake, and Hinterkind. According to ad copy, there will be a $250,000 marketing campaign including ads in the LA Times (Hero Complex), IGN, NY, Huffington Post The Onion/AV Club, Facebook (Hello Brett Schenker), Goodreads and Romantic Times.

DC had previously spent big to advertise the New 52 on targeted cable TV outlets, and Vertigo books have been advertised during like-minded TV shows, like Doctor Who, and in upscale magazines, like The New Yorker.

The ads feature the vertigo “Defy” catchphrase, and represent a pretty big investment in the brand. We keep hearing that “Vertigo ain’t going anywhere.” With their strong backlist, no wonder. However, given recent flat graphic novel sales, it’s important to remember that Vertigo has always ruled the graphic novel charts for DC, with not only the perennials—Watchmen, V for Vendetta, Fables, Y the Last Man—but books that didn’t do that great in periodical format holding their own there. While Vertigo went into a holding pattern prior to its relaunch following the departure of Karen Berger, obviously, there’s a lot of confidence in this brand, and belief in the bookstore market.


  1. Does that not sound like a pathetically small advertising budget for a major corporation to be touting? This is TIME WARNER, after all. Tell me they’re committing 5 million to advertising these titles and then I’ll feel like it’s not just business as usual. Will 250k raise the profile of any of these books in the world at large? Of course not. But then DC gets to say, “Hey, we TRIED advertising our comics… It just doesn’t work!” Sad.

  2. Without any bottom line numbers, I’m not sure how a number like $5 million dollars for advertising on DC’s lowest performing periodical line can be thrown out seriously.

    From a retailer perspective, I can tell you DC and Diamond just dumped a ton of Vertigo stuff that was sitting in their warehouses (including most of the Vertigo Crime books) for dirt cheap prices to retailers nationwide.

    $250k in concentrated places that make sense is much better than the $0 we’ve seen companies like DC and Marvel advertise in the past. I have to imagine their past advertising on TV for Sandman must have proven some results or they wouldn’t be attempting to do it at all.

    I also don’t understand why, when a company decides to throw money behind major advertising outside trade ads and comic book websites, the first comments are complaints about how they are doing it or hoe much money they are spending on it. And if they didn’t advertise or decided to stop trying t advertise outside the core market, people would be complaining about that too.

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  3. It might not be much in movie terms, but I bet there’s plenty of books envious of this kind of budget.

    I’ll admit, I was convinced Vertigo was going to be reduced to a few top books coming out under the DC brand. This is very encouraging.

  4. I would love to see how the marketing mix was determined. In other words, how did they decide how much to allocate to print, online, Point of Purchase, etc.

  5. I just spotted a FBP ad at a nearby pay telephone (18th and Fifth Avenue, near the old B&N). (And a “Death of the Family” ad on another block a few months ago.)

    I live in New York City, where there is enough commuter traffic to encourage subway and bus advertising. (It’s not unusual to see one side of a subway car advertising one brand, and the other side advertising another. Or to see the Times Square Shuttle completely wrapped inside and out for a media property.)

    Even then, here in the publishing capital of the United States, it’s rare to see a book advertisement outside of periodicals. Usually, it’s for some bestselling author’s latest thriller. So that $250K is pretty significant.

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