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Heroes For Hire: How Brand Marketing Works In The Marvel Universe

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It would be tough to argue against Marvel being one of the strongest, most recognized brand names in the world. And with that strength, comes . . . responsibility? Sure, but also requests from other brands to partner up so they too can warm themselves on your white hot brand halo. Right, Geico?

OK, movie tie-ins are no surprise, but as native advertising has become a common part of seemingly any and every content venture, it also lives under the same roof that Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, and so many more superheros live. It’s become such a big part of Marvel’s business, that over the last year, the company has completely restructured how it works with brands. Whereas before, movie and TV marketing opportunities lived over here, while publishing’s Marvel Custom Solutions was over there, now all live under the same roof of one division in Global Partnerships. It’s like Avengers tower, but instead of saving the world, they work with brands on making ads that don’t suck.

Mindy Hamilton, Marvel Entertainment’s senior vice-president of global partnerships Mindy Hamilton says the move reflects how Marvel overall has evolved over the last few years.

“If you’re coming in, as a brand, you should not just come in around a big film release, there are many more ways to engage with our fanbase,” she says. “As we head more towards a lifestyle brand, how do we continue to best serve this ever-growing fanbase? And how do we help brands tap into that as well? So over the last nine months we’ve consolidated and reorganized the division to be able to work with any property or platform.”

Come for the Guardians of the Galaxy, stay for a custom comic, or exclusive San Diego Comic-Con event. “Now that we’ve consolidated the teams, the brands can see more clearly that they can work with us on an evergreen basis, making us a full service brand marketing partner,” says Hamilton. “The re-organization was to help us better work with brands, and at the end of the day, grow that side of the business. Over the next six to nine months, fans are going to see an aggressive increase in content, variety, and quality coming from Marvel digital.”

That means anything from new long-form content and series on Marvel.com, to more short-form stuff across social like Instagram, Snapchat…

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