On Friday, another dream of mine was announced as coming true! Marvel (and if it’s successful, other companies will follow suit) is going to start advertising in movie theaters as well as on TV, as seen in this news item here at MajorSpoilers.com!
I mean, I know so many fans who have been longing for this to take place! It really came into focus with a lot of us with the first Iron Man film from Marvel Studios. Why not point out you can buy comics about this character at the same time?
IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE!
I mean, come on! You go to a movie theater to see The Avengers because you can’t wait to see those heroes on the big screen. It’s history in the making, right? Well, when the theaters are full of people interested in seeing this happen, why not point out that these very same characters have adventures on the printed page? DUHHHH, right? And movies advertise as well, such as the photo to the left proves.
There have been many local comics shops who have set up booths in theater lobbies to sell related comics to moviegoers. I don’t see that happening so much any longer, but I still think it’s a great idea worth trying! Again, DUHHHH, right? What do you lose? It’s advertising for your store, if nothing else!
In fact, the next logical step is to get Free Comic Book Day-style issues to hand out at early showings of a film. This week’s Logan film would have been a perfect time to hand out Old Man Logan comics to people as they come out of the movie, seems to me.
The industry truly needs this kind of exposure to attract new as well as former fans to stores, I think. And if Marvel is doing this, and they’re the top dog in the business, I imagine other companies would like that kind of help as well!
And TV works, too! If Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on, and Ghost Rider is in it, why not run a commercial about his comic, if one is coming out? Hey, I’d even put a link on the screen, one that’s easy to remember, and tell people they can download a FCBD-style comic about the character. Or maybe place advertising for said comic in that week’s TV Guide? Why not?
Of course, these ads should be good, the best Marvel can buy! Poor advertising would drive people away instead!
THE VIDEO/COMIC BATTLE
I spoke with comics legend Bob Layton about this kind of thing a while back in my weekly podcast. What he was pointing out then is probably even more accurate today, that people can often rent (or maybe even buy) a movie for the price of a comic these days. Why get a comic you can often read in five minutes when you can watch a film for an hour or longer?
That’s the kind of thing the comics industry is battling right now. To many people, a video is a better value than a comic book because you get more entertainment out of it.
Now, collectors are another thing, of course. You can’t collect blu-ray discs very well, for example. But a comic IS collectable because they come in a very perishable format. And there are people out there who want to have copies for their comics collections. So this doesn’t really work for them.
But for the majority of fans, those of us who don’t have a mountain of money to spend on books they can store in a vault for years, it’s an important concern. I’ve written about many of us living in budgets, and we have to choose what we spend our hard-earned shekels on very carefully.
If you can associate comics with movies, that’s a big plus, in my opinion. If you love a character and you want more of him or her, comics can help fill those long gaps between movies. After all, comics only take a few months to put together while films can take years. Making them cooperative is another great way to get fans. An example of something similar has been the Jim Butcher Dresden Files comics that come out between his novels. They keep interest high and fans happy.
I know, I know – there are a great many people (and I know some of them) who say, “I refuse to buy a comic when I can watch a TV show about the same person/people for free!” Really? These days? Most people have cable TV, and you have to pay for that. Where this argument fails is when you compare the cost of monthly comics to cable. You get 24/7 entertainment with cable, while comics, not so much.
To me, it’s not Marvel vs. DC as much as it is comics versus videos.
MOVING INTO THE FUTURE
I used to work at a well-known Metropolitan newspaper, and the biggest obstacle to surviving, something many of them have truly struggled with in recent years, was the notion, “We’ve ALWAYS done it this way! We shouldn’t have to change!” Computers and overseas producers who cost much less than American workers did seriously alter the industry no matter how people resisted this change, let me tell you!
The problem is the same for comics in that the future is a train rushing at you. You have two choices – Either get out of the way, or get run over by it.
I’m also encouraged by what’s called Geotargeting, which you can read more about here at MajorSpoilers.com.
Basically, it sends fans to the closest local comics shop in an effort to make buying the books as effortless as possible. I freely admit that I don’t exactly get how this works, but I figure it involves emails and websites hitting our mobile phones, pointing us in the right direction.
Again, using technology to help make buying comics easier is something I’m all for! And we need to use every avenue available to us to make this happen! Or else!
I mean, I used to see local stores where baseball cards and other products like them in every neighborhood I visited. Now, I can’t recall the last time I saw one of those shops anywhere!
I don’t want that same thing to happen to comics.
What do you think? Would an ad in a movie theater or on TV encourage you to buy more comics? Would they do that for your friends? I always like to ask, do you have any ideas the industry should be considering? If so, please share them in the space below! Hey, if you love comics as much as we do here at MajorSpoilers.com, you know we need even more ideas on how to embrace and enter the future!