As fans of Marvel and comics in general, we're going to have to lean towards "super" on this one.
Many companies look for ways to tap into the zeitgeist of the modern culture. Right now, in the United States, the current trend in terms of entertainment has been in the resurrection of comic book heroes and villains. From Spider Man to the Avengers to the Guardians of the Galaxy, these characters that entertained generations are back for a victory lap.
This time, with brands paying the bill.
Yes, Marvel's commercial partnership division, Custom Solutions, is wheelin' and dealin' with brands across the continental map. The home page shows work with M&Ms, conversations with BBDO New York, talks about creative with Lexus and Marvel's S.H.I.E.L.D. show on television, as well as many others. In fact, we heard about Marvel Custom Solutions because we heard that it is pairing up with the Florida Orange Growers to bring back Captain Citrus, a superhero who relies on oranges to get his job done. Apparently, the orange industry needs a hero.
But that's the draw. People love being a part of, or watching, something larger than life. We're huge fans of Superman because he is literally a super man. A man with super strength, speed, and overall power.
If Superman (we know, a DC Comics entity, calm down) and Asics or Under Armour partnered up, our heads may explode.
People get very into the heroes and villains that DC and Marvel created, so it only makes sense that brands would see that connecting with these cultural icons is actually a very sound promotion idea.
Extremely sound, because it is nothing new. Marvel and its colleagues have done this before, off and on, for decades. It's just getting popular again, so there's attention paid to it.
The awesome thing about advertising is that you can use nearly whatever is out there in order to connect and engage with your audience. Props to Marvel for avoiding that "selling out" nonsense and deciding to run a cool business venture.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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