The Godzilla experience
The last time Americans tried to translate Godzilla it left a sour taste in most people’s mouths, so in order to promote a new remake of the movie the studio knew they had to pull out something amazing. At the 2013 Comic-Con, they transformed an entire building and made it look like you’d stepped into the streets of Tokyo. Of course, there were plenty of spots to buy Godzilla memorabilia (printed T-shirts, toys, you name it) and even a Godzilla-themed sushi bar.
The TRON treasure hunt
80’s movie TRON got a makeover by Disney in 2010, and what better place to promote a cult classic than at Comic-Con? The sequel was titled TRON: Legacy and involved more hijinks in virtual reality, this time with a new cast and a story centred around Flynn’s son Sam. Fans had to complete a series of steps in order to receive a package that would grant them access to Flynn’s arcade.
Going viral like Simian Flu
An equally good marketing campaign for a film was Fox’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stuff for Comic-Con 2013. They got “doctors” to walk around “vaccinating” people against Simian Flu and giving away free hand sanitiser to prevent the spread of it.
They also did a good job of having key people from the movies, like actors and the director, on hand to chat to the press to give away a few other previously-secret details about what would be happening in the sequel.
Make transportation part of the fun
In 2013, Kia revealed a line of seven cars that represented each of the members of the Justice League. While some of the art of the vehicles leaves a lot to be desired, the strategy was overall well-received and got the Justice League Sorrento a lot of attention.
The car line was actually an extension of a project Kia already had going with DC Comics: the We Can Be Heroes campaign. The campaign was created to fight hunger in Africa and involved the creation of superhero cars for auto shows. The final collection in the collaboration was the Justice League Sorrento line.
Think outside the convention centre
Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows right now, so even though HBO probably didn’t have to do a whole lot to sell Comic-Con attendees on the idea of watching the show, it was a golden chance for them to do something cool their fans would remember. They came up with a simple but very appealing campaign for the 2013 edition of Comic-Con — translating written information into Dothraki (one of the made-up languages spoken on the show). Some fans got quite a surprise when they saw trolley signs and instructions written in the language spoken by the Khaleesi to her subjects.
Set up your T-shirt booth for success
Part of the nostalgia resurgence was Nickelodeon’s new TV movie based on Legends of the Hidden Temple, that game show from the 90’s. They spilled the big news to fans at Comic Con in 2015, along with a huge installation inspired by the series that included a spot where fans could buy their own tees, plus a photo op where they could get snapped with their freshly-purchased garments. Smart move, Nickelodeon!