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A (Slightly) Geekless Guide to Comic-Con
By: Clifton Simmons
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You don’t have to know the Green Lantern’s oath or the entire roster of the X-Men to appreciate the buzz worthiness of The San Diego Comic-Con. From July 21–24, the geek shall inherit southern California, where brands and all forms of media entertainment will be there to court them.
Comic-Con debuted in 1970. For nearly a decade, Comic-Con was about middle-aged men rising out of their parents’ basements to find back issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to complete their collections. One day, decision-makers in the entertainment industry woke up and realized that they had a gold mine of opportunity to promote themselves to the masses.
If you’re pushing movies, television shows, or video games, this is your inaugural buzz generator. One thing you’ll find is that the geeks are not easily swayed by CGI-enhanced spandex. Last year, the Green Lantern film preview received mixed reviews, and it seems no one went back to the studios to really retool the film over the next year. No superpower in the world helped it break even with its $200 million production budget. This year, the industry will be pushing The Dark Knight Rises (the next Batman film), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and a reboot of a new Spider-Man franchise.
You have your usual sci-fi fare, but stars, producers, and directors of action and adventure movies also attend interview panels with sneak previews. One of the more notable appearances will be James Bond emerging from the MGM bankruptcy.
When it comes to pop culture, Hollywood runs hot and cold. This year, they are telling us that fairy tales are the next big thing. In theaters, look for two Snow White films and television will debut Grim, based on Grimm fairy tales.
As for video games, look at Comic-Con as an extension of E3. eMarketer projects that US in-game advertising spending will increase from $295 million in 2007 to $650 million in 2012, so if your brand is looking for the ideal marriage, Comic-Con is the place to seek potential suitors.
For event marketers, Comic-Con is a proving ground where one executes their best tricks and create new ones to cut through the clutter and attract many of the 130,000+ people expected to attend. A lot of social media and some mobile marketing will come into play — tactics your brand or agency could borrow in the future for your events.
Overall, Comic-Con is an exercise in consumer engagement. You don’t have to have an interest in the content to appreciate how these brands make an effort to reach their consumers.

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About the Author
Clifton SimmonsChicago Copywriter. Non-traditional creative in a traditional world. Blogging to future creative minds on professoradman.com.
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