Notable alt media stunts to watch for at Comic-Con
Lots of networks hd high-tech out-of-home campaigns planned
July 21, 2016
The annual Comic-Con International event in San Diego has always reveled in being a little weird and a lot high-tech.
The gathering includes lots of cosplay, or full-grown adults dressing up as their favorite fictional characters. There are also loads of panels and previews, giving these well-dressed fanboys and girls the opportunity to see which direction their favorite franchises–both comic-book related and not–are headed.
Comic-Con is also one of the biggest events of the year for alternative media and out-of-home advertisers. Clever stunts have a great opportunity to grab social media buzz, since thousands of mostly younger people attend the event.
And stunts with a tech angle score big points with this tech-savvy audience. Watch for dedicated apps, augmented reality and other cutting-edge ideas.
Here’s a look at some stunts advertisers planned for this year’s Comic-Con, which took place July 21-24.
Warner Bros. Jumps on AR Bandwagon
Pokémon GO brought augmented reality (AR) to the masses, and Warner Bros. rode that wave at Comic-Con. The studio provided attendees with the official bags of the event. The backpack-style bags featured one of 18 different designs.
Among the WB properties that appeared on the bags: “Arrow,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Flash,” “Gotham,” “iZombie,” “The Vampire Diaries,” “Supergirl” and “Supernatural.”
The bags feature more than just branded images, however. People who point their smartphones at the bags using the Blippar mobile app will unlock surprise AR content related to each of the shows or movies.
Warner Bros. produced 135,000 bags to distribute at Comic-Con.
‘Conan’ Satisfies with Snickers
TBS’s late-night talk show “Conan” teamed with Snickers for a booth at Petco Park in which attendees can dress up like fictional superheroes and appear in a branded content video.
The video followed a comic book writer who encounters writer’s block when he’s hungry. It will air during commercial breaks on TBS and Adult Swim, as well as on the show’s website and Facebook and YouTube pages.
Photos taken at the station will be used to produce comic book covers featuring the fans dressed as heroes.
Meanwhile, AT&T is sponsored a virtual reality edition of “Conan,” which taped episodes at Comic-Con this week. Viewers at home with a VR device could watch the broadcasts in 360-degree video, from multiple angles within San Diego’s Spreckels Theatre
AT&T also ran a “Conan”-themed virtual reality booth on the Comic-Con convention floor.
Finally, each morning at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, a few blocks from the San Diego Convention Center, TBS gave away Conan O’Brien-themed Pop! Vinyl figures.
Pop! Vinyl figures are mini caricatures of pop cult characters and personalities. The Conan editions featured the host dressed up as various characters, such as Superman and a member of the Ghostbusters.
Those with Comic-Con badges were eligible to win the Conan dolls through random drawings to be held each morning.
FX Gets Artsy
Who says OOH can’t be sophisticated?
Cable network FX hosted an “FXhibition” area at the Hilton Bayfront Park hotel, featuring art installations and other exhibits highlighting five of its shows.
Among the stunts was an “American Horror Story” virtual reality experience that guides viewers through scary moments inspired by the series.
The FX area also included a sculpture garden featuring busts of characters from its shows, including “Archer,” “The Strain,” “Man Seeking Woman” and “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
There was also a “Philadelphia”-themed pub where fans could drink free water and receive branded collapsible cups.
CBS Gives Free Rides
Throughout the weekend, broadcast network CBS gave people in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego free rides in branded electric cars.
Each car was wrapped and featured one of five shows: “The Late Late Show with James Corden,” “MacGyver,” “Kevin Can Wait,” “The Great Indoors” and “Man With a Plan.”
The four latter programs are new ones for fall.
CBS also enlisted street teams in San Diego to hand out branded items. Freebies included a “MacGyver” “multi-tool,” “The Great Indoors” inflatable lounge chairs and “Scorpion” button pins.
‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Hits the Water
Attendees can take a tour aboard the yacht, which will no doubt feature plenty of “Walking Dead” lore. The exhibit will be open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Visitors must be at least 13.
AMC also hosted an hour-long autograph session with the “Fear the Walking Dead” cast Saturday at noon.
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