MullenLowe Mediahub Does Comic-Con

Without fail each July, the most eclectic melting pot of geeks, advertising madmen and A-list celebrities descend on San Diego’s Gaslamp District for Comic-Con — the world’s biggest celebration of comic book culture.

This year’s was the biggest SDCC yet, touting over 130,000 paid attendees, which doesn’t even account for the thousands more who flooded the downtown Gaslamp District. The convention center extends across 460,000 square feet, with nearly 1,000 vendors showcasing their latest and greatest. Across the street, there were hundreds of activations put on by brands, similar to the scene in downtown Austin during SXSW.

MullenLowe Mediahub took a trip to SDCC this year to let our inner nerds out and provide an insider’s look on the four-day event. Here’s our recap of key trends and takeaways:

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Comic book culture is more relevant to your business than you think

    There’s something for everyone at SDCC, regardless of whether they are hardcore comic book nerds or mainstream people. If there’s any strategic hook for your product, whether from a contextual or audience perspective, you should consider this event as a way to make an impact.

  • Find your nerds and get them to geek out

    If you can get a nerd fan base on board with your product, service or new TV show, they will be your biggest advocates. Dig into your brand’s data sets and see if there are any pockets of these people, as they could be a be a huge untapped opportunity for your business.

  • You don’t need a million dollars to make an impact

    Small things go a long way at SDCC, and you don’t have to spend your whole year’s marketing budget in one place. Whether it’s free pedicab transportation in the GOT throne, a bicycle bar with SYFY, Outlander men in kilts doing cosplay or giving out fun swag, there’s a lot of turnkey ways to reach the Comic-Con crowd. If you want to get your feet wet testing out the event, you can partner with brands that have a consistent, tried and true presence each year (e.g., Wired Cafe, Entertainment Weekly’s studio or IGN’s party). But if you want to do anything for SDCC 2018, you should start now.

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