December 17, 2018
Comic Con is one of the best opportunities to spread the news about new products and services. This past year, over 130,000 people attended San Francisco’s biggest, nerdiest event in order to share their love of television shows, online media, and good, contagious fun. In the midst of all of that enjoyment – not to mention the summer heat – several companies took advantage of the gathering crowds and debuted exciting news about their products in new and unique ways, catching the attention of potential audiences through their content and through their delivery.
Facebook’s Escape Room
Escape rooms have become big in the entertainment industry over the past several years. Groups of friends, coworkers, or even complete strangers can go into one of these escape rooms and look around for clues in order to find their way out again. Facebook took advantage of this trend in order to advertise their new Facebook watch. Visitors to Comic Con had the opportunity to enter into Facebook’s Escape Room and try out this new technology for themselves, using it in order to find the clues marketing representatives had scattered throughout the room and, in turn, escape. In this fun and exciting activation, Facebook ensured that folks who came in and out of the escape room saw how Facebook Watch could be used on a day to day basis – as well as in highly unique situations.
Marvel’s “Cloak & Dagger”
Marvel’s “Cloak & Dagger” wanted to make something of a splash at Comic Con, too. The new series follows two young superheroes whose powers mirror one another’s and is said to be full of thrills and tension. As such, Marvel wanted potential audiences to feel like superheroes of their own. Comic Con visitors who participated in the “Cloak & Dagger” activation got strapped into a bungee harness that made use of the participant’s own strength. How far the participants propelled themselves depended on their ability to work within the forces of the bungee, mirroring the pull between its new series’ two characters.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead”
One of television’s most popular series, “The Walking Dead,” just saw a striking conclusion to one of its major storylines, which now leads into its follow up, “Fear the Walking Dead.” While some fans are still reeling from the emotional blow, AMC is wasting no time in advertising the original series’ follow up. As such, AMC debuted a 22-foot zombie slide at 2018 Comic Con. Anyone interested in learning more about the new series and its compelling cast of characters could take a trip down the slide and avoid outstretched zombie hands, an admittedly mixed feeling of excitement and fear that’ll no doubt get folks excited for the start of a new, hoard-filled adventure.
NBC’s “The Good Place”
NBC wasn’t interested in missing out on the opportunity to advertise one of their most popular television shows, either. If you haven’t heard about “The Good Place” already, then attending Comic Con 2018 would almost guarantee that you had the opportunity. NBC’s “The Good Place” follows four humans stuck in Hell – or “The Bad Place” – as they try to understand why they got sent there in the first place and how it would be possible for them to get out. At Comic Con, attendees had the opportunity to follow in “Team Cockroach”’s footsteps and take a tour of a replica of the series’ set while also receiving a digital greeting from one of the show’s stars, Ted Danson. Once the tour was completed, visitors were abruptly sent on a trip through the Infinite Tunnel of Light, on the far end of which existed the characters’ “Bad Place,” – or, as it’s also known, reality.
Taco Bell 2032
Alongside all of the television promotion, there was also ample opportunity to eat well at Comic Con 2018, and for certain restaurants to make a name for themselves as more than just creators of cheap fast food. Taco Bell, known for its greasy eats and affordable food, got a notable upgrade in its activation, called Taco Bell 2032. Inspired by Demolition Man, Taco Bell was toted as a survivor of the “franchise wars.” Instead of the familiar interior, visitors to Taco Bell 2032 got to sit in an upscale restaurant and listen to classical music while eating a four-course meal. Taco Bell has been working for years to brand itself as more than just a place to eat delicious and quick food, and it seems, through this activation, that they’re making strides towards ensuring that they become one of the better fast food places to eat.
Finally, Dell decided to give Comic Con’s visiting gamers a seriously exciting opportunity. The company brought a larger-than-life Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop to the convention center along with a copy of Crypt of the Necrodancer. In order to play the game, visitors had to step on the oversized keyboard and work together to beat each of the available levels. Those who played had the opportunity to win a normal-sized version of the same laptop, which Dell has recently released.
These are just some of the unique marketing activations that were seen at 2018’s Comic Con, but they went far to stand out from the rest. Their brand engagement makes use of the emotional connection a product or service can build between an audience and that content in order to make that product or service all the more fun to enjoy. These forms of engagement can establish long-term relationships between the content and the consumer, or they can focus on immediate sales. Either way, the people in charge of marketing a particular form of content must make use of their product, price, promotion, and place in order to ensure that word gets out about the product or service they’re trying to sell. What better place to make moves like this than Comic Con, where the audience is diverse and excitement is the name of the game?