Superhero Visual Content Marketing
Love them or hate them, superhero movies are the hype of this generation of youths, and are here to stay. To think, 6 movies of the genre are scheduled for release this year alone, to the delight of many comic book fans, and brand sponsors hoping to get onboard the bandwagon. Haters may groan at how oversaturated the market for the genre has become, but it’s this influx of movies that have pushed these entertainment companies to be more competitive and creative with their marketing efforts.
Even if you have yet to see these films, Bolt analyses the visual content marketing of the 3 super movies that have been released so far, and breaks down the meaningful lessons marketers can take away from each one.
The R-rated film about Marvel’s favourite Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool, has become what 20th Century Fox’s president of domestic marketing, Marc Weinstock, calls “the (marketing) template for the future”.
Not only did its adult rating already put it at a disadvantage, the film was given a measly budget of USD$58 million – a quarter of Captain America: Civil War’s and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’s USD$250 million. How did this irreverent, sardonic movie about a crazy man in a red suit manage to smash records, and rake in an insane grand total of USD$745 million?
Stay True To Your Brand – Love Yourself
You can find this content marketing tip on many sites on the Internet, and that’s the importance of staying true to your brand. If you don’t even embrace who you are, how are you going to expect your audience to trust you? That’s exactly what the marketing team of Deadpool did – stick to the quirkiness, loud-mouthing and fourth wall breaking tone that fans knew and loved, to deliver cross-channel content as crazy (and innovative) as the antihero himself. From video to print to social media, Deadpool (or Ryan Reynolds; the 2 are practically the same person now) managed to not only entertain and satisfy, but intrigue those unfamiliar with the character who just wanted to know what was going on.
As for videos, Deadpool charmed the Internet with his personality through video in his own Empire magazine commercial, his successful 12-Days of Deadpool video series during Christmas, and his infomercial to raise awareness for testicular cancer.
The entire campaign was full of surprises that no one could predict, pushing boundaries and impressing everyone with unconventional idea after another. It certainly helped that Reynolds was 120% on board, stealing a suit from set to make his own promotional material. What other film would think of creating a Tinder account to market their movie?
If you’re interested in knowing just how to craft a Deadpool-esque marketing campaign, SocialMediaToday gives marketers 6 simple steps you can follow to achieve just that!
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Corporate Videos On A New Level – Introducing, Our (Universe)!
Another tip given by several marketing sites is that the first step to marketing your brand is to fully help your audience understand what your brand is about, and a creative way to do this is to tell your brand’s story through video.
We’ve seen pretty innovative ones from IKEA and Dollar Shave Club, but the team behind Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (BvS) decided to use the concept of corporate videos to introduce their entire world to fans.
Warner Bros. also teamed up with Turkish Airlines to make tourism board-like commercials for the cities of Gotham and Metropolis. The videos would end with main characters Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor personally inviting viewers, with a toast of champagne, to come visit their cities.
As for those interested in learning more about the respective cities and its sites, the BvS team collaborated with the folks at Time Out Shortlist to create Gotham and Metropolis Time Out Guides for $12.95 each, giving fans a rundown of where to dine and play.
Hopping onto the virtual reality (VR) trend of 2016, Google Street View teamed up with Warner Bros to give fans a special immersive tour of not just Bruce Wayne’s mansion, but also a look at the new Batcave. Just by strapping on the Google Cardboard or Gear VR, you got to see through the eyes of Batman and take in all of the Batcave’s goodies, from Batman’s high-tech weapons to the latest Batmobile. No wonder everyone wants to be Batman.
Captain America: Civil War
Connecting With Fans – Let’s Get Intimate
Marvel started hyping up fans on Twitter by giving them cute character emojis to play with if they Tweeted with the special character hashtag. Marvel also used the platform to connect with their fans on a more intimate level, by giving fans personalised video messages from the movie’s cast.
We’ve been told that one of the best ways to engage your audience emotionally is to talk to them directly. For a period of time, Marvel encouraged fans to tweet which team they sided with – #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan, to which an actor from each team would reply to the tweet with a video response.
As much as we love Team Iron Man, we have to give funny guys Anthony Mackie and Paul Rudd props for giving some of our favourite responses.
Taking this video engagement thing further, Civil War stars Chris Evans, Sebastian Stan, and Anthony Mackie went in search for the biggest Team Cap fans in Southeast Asia – through Skype. Fans, who thought they were taking part in a ‘fan video’, were extremely surprised when their Skype call was suddenly hijacked by the mischievous trio of Team Cap. (We’d love to have been in their shoes!)
Whether you hold the opinion “Superhero movies are all the same!”, you’d tip your hat to these marketing teams for all the thought put into trying to make their respective movies as different from the rest as possible. With 3 more films yet to be released this year, and a slew of movies scheduled for at least another 5 years, we’re itching to see what else these comic giants have to jump us with.