3 Things Marketers Can Learn From Marvel
The Avengers made my Marvel is a record breaking cultural phenomenon for good reason. It has a great storyline, sticks to its roots and fully engages an entire audience.
After the release of the first Avengers film it wasn’t long before people considered it one of the greatest films ever made. In fact, according to IMDB it is the 3rd highest grossing film of all time. So it came as no surprise when the eagerly awaited second film, Age of Ultron, followed suit and smashed even more box office records.
Anytime something captivates the world to the degree that Marvel’s intellectual property has, marketers should be paying attention. Whilst a minority of people go to watch the film for the special effects, a large percentage of viewers will be going because of the ‘Avengers brand’ that Marvel has so successfully created. Behind the shiny costumes and huge explosions, the Avengers contains powerful marketing lessons that marketers can use for success.
Often frowned upon due to awkward breaks during TV shows, product placement is something we’ve all come to dislike. When a product or service becomes the focus of attention, it can often disrupt the flow of whatever your watching. Essentially putting you off the product. However, the magicians at Marvel have managed to take product placement to another level. It’s almost subliminal. Lets focus on Iron Man, a character well known for his lavish lifestyle. He is the perfect candidate for top name brands who want to promote a product in a film. It comes at no surprise when he jumps into the latest Audi or shows of his Rolex. The way Marvel implements products into the series is so seamless the audience hardly notices. However, you can be sure enthusiasts will be talking of “Iron mans car” after the film. Audi further leveraged this recently with its latest ad.
54 years ago, Marvel launched the Fantastic Four comic series that kick started the Marvel Brand. The likes of Thor and Captain America quickly outgrew chat forums to become household names. They were idolised by children around the globe. Marvel soon got to grips with the phenomenon it had created and worked incredibly hard to maintain the brand’s rich narrative history for both familiar and underserved content to produce media that appeals to nostalgia without alienating new fans.
Once you gain a consumers undivided attention you have the ability to emotionally connect with them. The power to make someone laugh or even cry has become tantamount to modern marketers’ success, which is why mediums such as Direct Mail continue to thrive. Putting something in front of someone is the best way to grab their attention, and it’s key to ensure it carries a powerful storyline. Even in an industry predicated on captivating stories, Marvel managed to innovate. Each piece of media that Marvel produces—be it a Direct Mail piece, TV show or a full-length film—connects to previous or upcoming projects. This method of storytelling mirrors what printed comic books have been doing for decades – building detailed stories and rolling them together into an ever-expanding series. It’s a proven method that promotes and rewards consumers’ consistent engagement without isolating new consumers.