In one of the biggest no brainers in marketing history, this spring Marvel will start advertising key comics releases ahead of blockbuster movies and TV shows. It’s all part of the program to shore up periodical sales that they’ve been slowly rolling out, first to retail partners, then the public.
The PR doesn’t specifically mention MCU movies or TV, but that would be another no-brainer. It does mention ABC, which is owned by Disney, as is Marvel, so that’s an intercompany branding program. One might also guess that the ads would run before Disney movies.
While this sounds like the kind of investment that thrifty Marvel has been hesitant to make before now, advertising before movies is pretty economical – otherwise why would there be so many ads for your local Thai place before movies? Cable advertising–the kind DC has been doing for a while for things like Rebirth and Vertigo – is also dirt cheap.
Maybe Marvel called in some synergy favors here?
I know that more than a decade ago, movies selling print comics was an idea that was widely pooh poohed at Marvel, and finding a single volume to tie in to sprawling storylines such as the X-men movies or the MCU was difficult for a while. Marvel has gotten much smarter at it since then, and right now, Old Man Logan trades are dominating Marvel’s Amazon charts:
Then there’s the batter of in movie branding. Logan contains a star turn for several X-men comics, however, possibly due to Fox/Marvel bickering, actual comics couldn’t be used and Joe Quesada and Dan Panosian had to draw new covers and interiors for non existent comics. Hopefully, these wont be the ones Marvel advertises.
First, Marvel Comics are coming to a theater near you! Beginning this weekend, keep your eyes peeled for special pre-trailer advertisements before some of 2017’s biggest releases! Including ads promoting Marvel’s highly-anticipated SECRET EMPIRE event ahead of select screenings of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2!
Then, Marvel Comics come to the small screen with dedicated TV advertising and promotions. To be featured on ABC and other broadcast networks nationwide, fans can look forward to dedicated spots, on-air interviews, and more devoted towards Marvel’s biggest comic book launches this spring – SECRET EMPIRE and Marvel’s upcoming slate of X-MEN titles and more!
This year, Marvel continues to bridge the worlds of graphic fiction with all new audiences and now, with extensive advertising activations, the House of Ideas is set to reach entirely new audiences in 2017 and invite them directly into local comic shops! The biggest characters and creators are waiting for you at your nearest comic retailer!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.