Get ready… Comic-Con International is back! The annual festival of the geeks (we sing it loud and proud) officially returns to the San Diego headquarters this July. Tickets for the comic-book-turned-film-festival officially go on sale next week. With tickets notoriously selling out in record time – 2016 badges sold out within 40 minutes – this year’s event is likely to draw huge crowds once again.
For a branding and promotional products agency, Comic-Con is the stuff made of dreams. From turning comic book heroines into 3D cosplay characters to creating innovative products and merchandise lines from storied tales, Comic-Con is branding.
Today, we’re sharing the best promotional products to sweep any comic book lover off their feet and show you how to effectively capitalize on the convention to create incredible engagement and solid returns on your marketing dollars. Sounds pretty great, right?
Let’s Start at the Beginning: Who’s Coming?
In a tactic to build anticipation and excitement around the event, the official schedule and program for Comic-Con 2017 won’t be released until two weeks before the event. However, if previous years are any indication brands like Warner Brothers, Disney Co.’s Marvel Entertainment, AMC, HBO, Nintendo, Barnes & Noble, and even General Motors Co. will showcase interactive booths to connect with an expected 130,000 fans.
Of those fans, the breakdown in convention demographic may be surprising. While stereotypes place mostly men at these types of events, an Eventbrite survey from Comic-Con 2015 found an almost 50/50 split in the number of men and women attending the event. Additionally respondents reported they spent on average $200-$500 at conventions.
The first major category of spending was on original art, followed by clothing, t-shirts, and non-cosplay fashions, and then toys and collectible merchandise. Sounds right in line with promotional products doesn’t it? In fact, promo products resonate extremely well with this demographic. To view the full 2015 Eventbrite graphic, click here.
Highlights from past Comic-Con
Since Comic-Con’s debut in 1970 the annual event draws hundreds of thousands to San Diego every year. The convention itself is estimated to generate over $140 million in revenue for the city. If your team is heading to the big event this year, it’s time to start brainstorming innovative marketing techniques to stand out. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite marketing activations in recent years below.
- The Godzilla Experience from Comic-Con 2013.
When Warner Brothers decided to remake Godzilla a few years ago they knew they had to do something big. They decide to announce the project at Comic-Con and decided to do so in monstrous proportions (see what we did there?). They transformed an entire building into the streets of Tokyo to let fans explore the terrifying world of Godzilla. The activation was complete with Godzilla promo products and a Godzilla-themed sushi bar.
- Nickelodeon’s Legend of the Hidden Temple from Comic-Con 2015
In 2015 Nickelodeon brought back the hit 90’s game show Legend of the Hidden Temple and they specifically chose to announce the reboot at Comic-Con. The kids network created an elaborate set designed to allow attendees to take pictures and print the pics on t-shirts as souvenirs!
- Dexter from Comic-Con 2010
Back in 2010 the hype of the TV show Dexter was all the rage. The TV show about a serial-killer-turned-vigilante who killed his victims by creating carefully hidden “kill rooms” (sounds so violent doesn’t it?) was huge. The marketing team behind the Showtime hit gave out temporary tattoos in the shape of blood cuts and even created a replica kill room where attendees could search for hidden prizes. Epic right?
Merch Guide for Comic-Con 2017
The key to creating effective promo products is to create merchandise that resonates with the target consumer. In this case, we know wearables like t-shirts, masks, accessories, pins, etc. work really well with the Comic-Con crowd. We also know anything resembling popular comic book and pop culture figurines also work really well. The goal then is to combine a useful product with smart branding. We’ve curated a selection of promo products that fit this mold below. Check it out!
Start Your Comic-Con Project!
Comic-Con International returns to San Diego Thursday July 20th – Sunday July 23rd. If your brand or company is attending the convention, let our team of marketing experts help you create the coolest promotional products to amplify your campaign. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 323-800-2241 today!
Brand+Aid is a promotional marketing agency based in Salt Lake City, Utah and Los Angeles, California. We turn ideas into tangible, fun experiences through experiential advertising. Have an idea you’d like to make happen? Contact our rescue team for a free consultation today at 323-800-2241 or shoot us an email at email@example.com. For more information, check out our website: www.brandaiding.com.