Merchandising has always been a huge part of the modern movie business, especially with the titanic rise of the superhero genre. Mugs, T-shirts, toys, shoes, stationery, collectables... the list goes on. You can get pretty much anything with Spider-Man's mask, Wonder Woman's shield, or Batman's Bat-Signal emblazoned across it — and whilst this merch might make big bucks, they also serve an important function in the lives of younger fans. For kids especially, these superheroes are role models, who help to develop kids' imaginations and sense of empowerment.
As the hype for Justice League intensifies, expect #DCEU merch to be everywhere, especially during the August back to school rush. Walmart's latest ad capitalizes on this, showing a kid in a homemade #Batman costume looking for the perfect backpack — with a nice little twist at the end.
Check out Walmart's new ad here:
At the very end we see what a Ben Affleck-esque Caped Crusader exit his dad's car and head into school with his brand new backpack. So cute!
Superheroes in advertising is nothing new, but it's good to see Walmart get at the crux of why superheroes are important role models for kids. Since the rise of the #MCU and DCEU we have seen a whole bunch of excellent commercials featuring our favorite supes, and here are some of the best.
The X-Men For Sky Fibre
In this ad for Sky Fibre, we see X-Men: Apocalypse's Quicksilver cause all kinds of slow-motion mayhem to impress a girl who just wants a fast wifi connection.
Marvel's Avengers For Samsung Mobile
This mini-movie was produced for Samsung Galaxy mobile and their brand new VR software. It features four "normal" people (including soccer star Lionel Messi) getting the chance to live their Avengers fantasy with Samsung's new VR gear. The trailer also stars Cobie Smulders's Maria Hill.
Ant-Man Vs. Hulk For Coca Cola
Aired during Super Bowl 50, Marvel teamed up with soft drinks giant Coca Cola to create this action-packed Hulk vs. Ant-Man skit. Considering Super Bowl commercial slots cost somewhere in the realm of $1 million per 30 second slot, this trailer must have cost both Marvel and Coca Cola a pretty penny to produce. But it was totally worth it.
The Hulk For Nike
With an awesome cameo from Mark Ruffalo's #Hulk, this Nike trailer shows off the insane skills of the world's biggest soccer stars, once again playing on themes of imagination and empowerment.
While Walmart gets an early start on their back to school merch, you can be sure that stores across the US will start packing their shelves with all things superhero in the coming months, especially as Justice League hits movie theaters November 17, 2017.
Who is your favorite piece of Superhero merch? Let us know in the comments!