Viral Marketing and the Future of the Comic Book Based Movie

Having seen the Incredible Hulk two weeks ago, I was struck by how little of a presence this movie had in the months building up to the release. Sure we all saw Iron Man every where and it struck me as odd that the Marvel movies despite all of the control they seem to have over their movies tend to do little in the way of online marketing other than putting up a main movie site.

Puzzling since I think a requel like the Incredible Hulk would’ve benefited greatly from the power of a viral marketing campaign much like the Dark Knight and Hellboy II are. This is made even more puzzling since Marvel has taken greater control of its characters through their whole Marvel Studios deal and Ole’ Jade Jaws has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance in the comics lately with two big events in the last couple of years, Planet Hulk and World War Hulk, you’d think Marvel would want to do all it could to push Hulk to the top. I am not saying Marvel’s doing a bad job just wondering why not try to leverage all the new media you can muster for this incarnation of the movie.

Standard form for most movie sites over the years has been to have a site built mostly or entirely in Flash. A movie web site usually consists of some downloadable content like Wallpapers, Buddy Icons and sometimes the trailer(s). This is all fine and good and there have been some great movie fueled sites over the years but for the future as the potential target market for these movies get more and more sophisticated it will become imperative that the studios take every opportunity to engage them. I don’t think it will be enough in the future to simply have a great movie themed website but to deliver a complete online experience. This will be made increasingly easier with the rise of Web 2.0 applications and sites and you need to do more than just create a My Space or Facebook site Marvel and DC.

So great job on rebooting the Hulk franchise Marvel you get an A for that but as far as developing an online presence you get a D-. Invest more in online for your next few movies. It’ll help.

A list of the Hellboy II Viral Sites:

A list of the Wanted Viral Sites: