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Marvel vs. DC Comics

An analysis of the advertising techniques employed by the rival comic companies.

Mary Ann

on 25 March 2014

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Transcript of Marvel vs. DC Comics

Marvel's use of an action shot lures viewers, specifically the VALS group of the Achievers. The achievers live goal oriented and desire achievement. Since they prefer a more exciting way of living, the action and the victories of the heroes may appeal to these types of people. The poster also creates a type of suspense for what is going to happen in the movie, as the viewer has never seen anything like this before.
Marvel vs. DC
Marvel's "The Avengers" Trailer
History of Marvel Comics
Founded by Martin Goodman under the name Timely Publications in 1939
The first comic was published in 1939, featuring the famous Human Torch
The first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand were the science-fiction series Journey Into Mystery
The introduction of The Fantastic Four ushered in The Marvel Age of Comics in the 1960s
Bought by Disney in 2009
Wildly successful movie franchises
Online Advertisement
History of
DC Comics
Debuted as National Allied Publications in February 1935.
Detective Comics (DC) introduced Batman in issue #27 in 1929 and he became a sensation
Detective Comics Inc. soon launched a fourth title, Action Comics, the premiere of which introduced Superman.
Wonder Woman's depiction as a heroine fighting for justice, love, peace, and sexual equality has led to her depiction as a popular feminist icon
By: Alex, Autumn, and Maryann
Marvel VS. DC Movie Advertising
DC's "The Dark Knight Rises"Trailer
DC Comics
This advertisement for the revival of many popular Marvel comics shows a myriad of their most popular characters (Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, and Wolverine) as well as a few less known ones (Nick Fury, Daredevil, and Rocket Raccoon). This technique is used to draw readers in with a sense of familiarity (good for the Believers, Survivors, and Strivers, who tend to lean towards the known) as well as exciting prospects for living vicariously through new characters (a fantastic opportunity for an Experiencer). The colors are vivid and the image is an action scene, with all the heroes preparing for an intense battle with an unknown force. Overall, this advertisement is great for drawing the eye and inspiring interest.
In this movie poster for the recent film Man of Steel, the protagonist, Superman, is pictured at the center of the shot with what seems to be the remains of an action packed scene that played out around him. As the main focus of the poster, it connotes that the focus is on Superman's struggle as a person rather than the worldly conflict, which would appeal to groups that appreciate self expression (i.e. the Experiencers or the Makers.)
Social Issues
While Marvel has openly shown support for issues such as marriage equality, DC seems to have some different ideas.
Teddy Altman (Hulkling) and Billy Kaplan (Wiccan) from the popular serial, Young Avengers
The character Batwoman is quite openly gay, and yet there has been controversy because the writers forbid the comic from ever letting her marry her girlfriend in print. Kane has proposed twice, but because of the fact that the comic will never be able to follow through, writers Williams and Blackman have decided to leave the comic.
Another problematic hitch in DC's recent history is a contest held in which applicants had to draw the popular villainess Harley Quinn in a four panel comic. The comic was, in its' entirety, to be a depiction of various given gruesome ways she would attempt to commit suicide.
Aside from the fact that this advertisement is generally dull and uses a sub-par movie adaptation of a somewhat well known comic book character to display it's comics, the ad offers little to no inspiration or emotional appeal. It is simply a picture of an actor that many find attractive, with a few pictures of the original comics shoved haphazardly into the bottom corner.
Though those in charge of the contest later apologized, saying that their "intentions were always to make [it] fun and silly," and somewhat Looney Tunes-esque, this incident in particular and the bad judgement call it came from brought DC comics into a negative light and definitely affected the public face of the company.
More Advertisements
The bright colors in this advertisement for a DC as well as a comics shop draw the eye. The topic is interesting: people are protesting at Superman, which will obviously catch attention. Humor is used as a technique to reference current events and connect with the reader, creating a sense of familiarity, something very common between the two companies' advertisements.
While this Marvel ad from 1989 is quite bland, the vagueness and lack of vivid colors may be intentional. The colors are pale and not vibrant so that they won't distract from the title: the declaration that you won't want to miss this installation of comics because you haven't got the whole story. While this cannot vouch for the state of Marvel's current advertising, it shows that Marvel has always been very straightforward in advertising the honest goods that are their comics.
The Dark Knight Rises trailer mostly uses emotion to appeal to the audience. There is chemistry between Batman and Catwoman, there is fear in the children and other citizens of Gotham and there is much destruction of a city where normal people dwell.
The movie trailer creates an interest in the movie because it gives a hint of the storyline of the movie as well as the action. This would appeal to the Experiencers.

The Avengers trailer used action, excitement and humor to appeal to viewers. In every scene of the movie trailer there is an element of excitement which suggests that the movie will also be exhilarating.
The introduction of the characters throughout the trailer gives the viewer a taste of what they are supposed to expect from this group of “remarkable people”.
The advertisement will definitely appeal to Experiencers because they like excitement. It may also appeal to young people of all ages because the young adults have either grown up reading Marvel comics and the younger ones have probably played with a Marvel toy or watched a TV show relating to the characters in the film. Therefore, the viewers’ familiarity with the characters in the trailer can lure them to watch the movie.
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