Marketers Find New Place for Ads: Comic Books
Always on the lookout for new advertising venues, marketers have found another one. But unlike so many other so-called emerging media outlets involving high-tech distribution platforms, this one is decidedly old school--comic books. Leading marketers joining the trend include General Motors, Nike, and Chrysler. In July, GM’s Pontiac will play a highly visible, promotional role in a new, six-part mini-series from DC Comics called Rush City, while the famous Nike "swoosh" logo has been popping up in scenes from Marvel Entertainment titles, such as New X-Men. And Marvel, home of Spider-Man, Captain America and Sub-Mariner, may feature Dodge's new car, the Caliber, in the books' cityscapes, including on billboards, T-shirts or signs over the next four to eight months, Joe Maimone, Marvel's advertising director, says. Such product placement, while commonplace in movies and TV show, is now coming to comic books because the industry's two giants, DC and Marvel, are promoting some of their titles as places to reach one of Madison Avenue's most elusive audiences: guys in their 20s. Notoriously hard to reach, young adult males are known to be wary of traditional sales pitches, especially ones that get in the way of their entertainment. "It's the kind of audience that is harder and harder and harder to get to," says Dino Bernacchi, advertising manager for Pontiac.