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Marketing at San Diego Comic-Con

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(Photo: Comic-Con International: San Diego)

Things have certainly changed over the years at Comic-Con. Marvel and DC used to save up everything for the show. News would go dry in the weeks leading up to the big show in San Diego. Everyone wanted their announcements to happen at the show.

As the show grew to insane proportions, comics publishers realized that they were getting swallowed up in the news cycle. Hollywood would always win, even in the comics press. There was no point in announcing things at San Diego anymore.

That led to a variety of publishers pre-announcing all their comics news in the days and weeks leading up to Comic-Con in various ways. As the game changes, so do the players. It’s fascinating to watch.

AiT/PlanetLar did it first, by doing an interview ahead of the show and doing all of their announcements for the show in there.

These days, the same principle holds in a variety of ways. Boom! makes a calendar out of doing a number of daily announcements leading to the year’s show. Others just “leak” news more casually leading up to the show. Big news from Marvel and DC is carefully parceled out to get multiple hits for one story, even though it leads to fans who think it’s old news by the third time back to the well.

I wonder if it’s not starting to cycle back around again. Hollywood is still a dominant presence at San Diego “Comic”-Con, but decent sized news is still breaking at the show from the comics companies. They know it’ll get out and, hopefully, not be forgotten by Monday.

The big opportunity, I think, is on Sunday. Nobody announces anything on Sunday. They all play dead after Saturday. When the decks are cleanest, everyone shuts up. That makes no sense to me. Try to own the after-Hall H market, someone. Next year, make your big announcement Sunday at noon and own the final day of the convention’s news cycle. Be the last thing on their minds for when the news cycle moves out of convention coverage the next day.

On the other hand, let me give the marketers reading…

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