by Leirum Rivas, Copywriter and Emiro Echenagucia, Senior Art Director
Some events can be a perfect fit for brands, but others present more of a challenge. It comes down to relevancy and finding a way to be useful or entertaining…especially when your brand wants to get the attention of 180,000 fans dressed as their favorite Comic, TV series or movie characters.
This is where Comic Con advertising comes in.
What’s A Brand Like You Doing At Comic Con?
At Dieste we’re always curious about all the places where brands can participate in a creative way. So this year we took our superhero cape and flew to the New York Comic Con 2016.
While there, it struck me that brands are increasingly acting like people. They come into the digital world and chat with us. They have personalities, feelings and beliefs; they give us advice and they even attend the events we attend.
When brands participate in an event, they have an opportunity to engage with a captive audience, which opens the door to unique experiential interactions.
As soon as we approached the Javits Convention Center, we experienced the passion of thousands of fans walking to the venue wearing their alter ego suits. They were eager to be entertained and to step into their favorite character’s shoes for a while.
So, this becomes key for brands. If brands want to “talk” to their audience they must be willing to have fun. It’s good to embrace that playfulness to generate engagement.
In our walk through Harley Quinns, Boba Fetts, Deadpools, Captain Americas, Poison Ivy’s and whatever-you-can-imagine cosplays, we stumbled upon some major brands doing some cool Comic Con advertising:
“It’s all part of the worldwide spread of nerd culture, says Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund… ‘Cons are a reflection of what’s happening in the larger entertainment world,’ he tells PW. ‘Comics and comics media are at the heart of our entertainment, and cons provide an incredibly attractive environment to enjoy what’s happening and to understand what’s coming up next.'”
Karaoke With Geico
Geico went above and beyond, taking advantage of their character the Gecko. The brand participated this year with different activations to grab the cosplayers attention: 3D photo booths, karaoke, pinball, giveaways, and the chance to sing with the Gecko.
These guys are smart! They kept people entertained for hours without forcing their sales pitch. In the very same tone of the event they had their sales representatives handling out Geico “Comic books” with info about their products.
Simple ideas like “Guess the Geckos in the Mysterious Glass Box” or hiding small plush Gecko dolls inside the venue so people could take selfies with them wherever they found them, make for a great time.
Geico has a great reputation at Comic Con. Last year, the audience loved their 3D booth so much that it was rated one of the best attractions.
Say Cheese! You’re At The Canon Smilebooth
To promote the EOS Rebel T6i model, Canon did what they do best: give fans the option to take an epic shot. But to show off their product, the brand positioned the cameras in an 180º lay out, creating a series of consecutive photos that translated into an amazing GIF.
This was our gif from the Canon Smilebooth
Charge Your Phone, While Doing VR With AT&T
AT&T is always a big player when it comes to Comic Con advertising. And what could be more useful for a fan spending more than 8 hours at the event than having ‘phone lockers’ to leave and charge their phones, without missing out on all the things to do and see.
What better place to build on the momentum of virtual reality? This year, AT&T partnered with Samsung to have VR experiences at their stand.
These brands definitely left a good impression among attendants, and what they all had in common was blending with the theme of the event. Rather than try to promote themselves as many would expect, they joined in the experience and became another fan!
If Comic Con Is Your Next Brand Adventure…
Comic-related events are growing and evolving every year, with new local Cons rapidly emerging. Not only are brands finding a place in the fun, but a diverse and multicultural audience is doing so as well. These types of events provide a great opportunity to reach passionate and engaged fans that are primed to become ‘brand fans’.
Want to be a part of it?
- Be useful or/and entertaining. Take advantage of the theme and look for ways to become a ‘fan’.
- Bring some experiential activity: VR, movie previews, engaging content creating devices, anything unexpected.
- Let fans be part of a story. Self-expression is the ultimate rule in these events!
At Dieste we believe in great brands taking part in great events, and looking for our multicultural audience in unexpected places and Comic Con advertising is just the beginning. Be sure to subscribe to Provoke Weekly to learn more about experiential initiatives that help your brand be a hero.