The comic con: a safe haven for nerds and geeks everywhere. Throughout the year and in every state, conventions welcome fans to gather together in celebration of all thing movies, TV, gaming, and comics. While one may see the occasional fan art or cosplay paying tribute to an upcoming, highly anticipated film or TV series, very rarely do con attendees get bombarded by stereotypical entertainment marketing. But once every summer, all the rules change, and every entertainment studios marketing geniuses put their brains on full throttle for the most highly anticipated fan convention of the year: San Diego Comic Con International!
SDCC can be just as much of a treat for entertainment studios as it is for fans since they get the rare chance of interacting directly with their target audiences. However, keep in mind, San Diego Comic Con is a place where the norm and the boring is forbidden. That being said, traditional marketing methods like dull posters or pins are absolutely out of the question! So how do you get an audience's attention when people are already experiencing inevitable Comic Con sensory overload? Let's take a look at 5 unforgettably imaginative Comic Con marketing gimmicks, shall we?
1. Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!
"Oh hell no" is right! Yes, folks, Sharknado is back and as insane as ever! The third installment of the infamous satirical franchise will be bringing audience wind, rain, and flying marine predators starting Wednesday, July 22. The franchise, which has an almost inexplicable cult following, has almost as many haters and it does loyal fans. But regardless of whether you hate it or not, it was a bit difficult to ignore Sharknado on the streets of San Diego. In order to promote the upcoming film, SyFy had hordes of shark minions marching about the entirety of the city! Check out a bit of the fishy parade below.
The next gimmick is admittedly a lot more terrifying and unsettling than the light hearted Sharknado parade. Everyone knows the picketing Christian protesters outside of big events, right? Well, imagine that but with protesters praising the coming anti-christ and 666 written all over everything. As you may have already guessed, A&E's new horror series Damien takes inspiration from the 1976 horror classic The Omen. According to the synopsis, little Damien is all grown up now and is forced to accept his fate as the anti-christ. Also, if you don't want to sleep well tonight, check out the creepy people chanting/moaning for Damien below...
Going back to a much happier note, this year's Outlander marketing will have you dancing and dreaming of the Scottish highlands. Alongside Damien's devil worshipers and Sharknado's parading fish, pedestrians could easily find themselves happily running into a group of handsome, brawny Scots. The kilt-clad, young men happily sung, waved their flags, and danced to the tune of bagpipes in celebration of a possible 2016 season 2 premiere date! Check out the gleeful Scots below!
The final parading advertisements comes in the form of intimidating marching soldiers complete with seemingly bullet proof vests and awesome red berets. The thrilling new USA series Colony tells the story of a couple and their family attempting to survive the new world order after Los Angeles has been taken over by controversial occupational government. As one can imagine, the marching soldiers are likely the ones keeping the captive residents of Los Angeles in check. Colony really went all out this year at Comic Con. They even had military caliber Ubers for any one that needed to hitch a ride!
Check out more of their awesome marketing by clicking here and make sure to take a look at the soldiers below! I wouldn't want to mess with them if I were you, though...
5. Assassin's Creed: Syndicate
Lastly and probably my personal favorite gimmick, the Assassin's Creed: Syndicate parkour obstacle course challenge allowed fans to challenge their skills and see if they have what it takes to become a master assassin. Beginning with the legendary leap of faith, the course took fans through a series of London-based obstacles including a jump across a train, an alleyway spider wall, and an overhead glide between British buildings. Afterwards, you could head on to the Assassin's Creed testing area where eager fans of the games could try their hand at the beta version of the upcoming, highly anticipated Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. Check out a virtual version of the parkour obstacle course below!
Yes, San Diego Comic Con is filled with A-lister celebrities and has awesome cosplayers running about every which way. But next time you join the mass exodus to San Diego, take a breather on your way to Hall H and look around at the imaginative marketing studios created specifically for you to enjoy! Spend some time outside of the convention center, take pictures with the dancing sharks, and who knows! You'll probably get a few free t-shirts for your noble efforts!