Using Twitter to promote an upcoming product launch or movie release is nothing new, so in order to stand out Marvel is having its fictional characters “create” the brand’s promotional tweets.
Superheroes like Captain America, Thor, and Tony “Iron Man” Stark – all of whom are part of The Avengers, the latest film installment of which will be released Friday – have their own Twitter accounts. They’re all verified, and they’ve all got hundreds of thousands of followers.
“I have to give [Marvel] some real credit,” says Jeffrey Hayzlett, TV host and chairman of the C-Suite Network. “They’re allowing the fan base to get up close and personal and they’re using real-world tools to deal with fantasy characters, and I think that’s very cool.
“Everybody knows they’re not real, but it’s kind of like going to Disneyland and actually seeing Snow White or Mickey Mouse,” he continues. “You get to see them and therefore, they do seem real.”
AMC did something similar in 2007, when Mad Men premiered. Don Draper and other characters had their own Twitter handles and they would interact with fans, a move that differs from the superheroes’ activity. Whether The Avengers are tweeting stills and trailers from the movie or related ads from sponsors like Audi and Gillette, the characters’ Twitter activity is 100 percent promotional. Captain America only follows 24 people, for example, all of whom are affiliated with Marvel movies, whether real or fictional.
While Hayzlett thinks it would be cool to get a follow-back from Thor, he points out the tremendous amount of time and effort it would take to have fictional characters tweeting with half-a-million fans apiece. Marvel could engage more, but Hayzlett still gives the brand credit for “keeping their intellectual property intact but at the same time, having fun with the characters.”
Marvel isn’t the only brand with comic book-related tweets today. April 28 is National Superhero Day, which has been trending all day on Twitter.
For the third time, Krispy Kreme is celebrating the unofficial holiday with a buy-one-get one promotion in its locations throughout North America. Consumers who buy a dozen of any donuts today will get a dozen more of the brand’s original glazed donuts.
Additionally, through midnight, the North Carolina-based confectioner invites consumers to take a picture with their hero – everyone from moms to Spider-Man action figures counts – either at a Krispy Kreme location or prominently featuring one of its products. Tagging the picture on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Vine with the #SuperheroSelfie hashtag enters consumers into a contest to win free donuts for life.
“[Krispy Kreme] is all about engaging with our fans in fun and unique ways,” Lafeea Watson, a Krispy Kreme spokesperson, says, adding that the brand also recognizes National Donut Day (June 5) and International Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19). “The sweepstakes was a fun add-on, a way to encourage fans to share and talk about the occasion in a visually exciting way. And what better way to reward our fans than a lifetime worth of the product they love?”
Other brands getting in on National Superhero day include Mattel, promoting a new DVD in which Barbie is a crime fighter; cosmetics brand Stigma Beauty hailing a makeup brush as its hero; and the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, lauding its popular quarterback who is known as “SuperCam.”
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