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Comic-Con Preview Night Breakdown

July 22, 2009

Just got back from preview night at Comic-Con in San Diego.  I have a few thoughts on what I saw, and what I hope to see the rest of the weekend.

First, if you ever have the chance to go to Comic-Con, make sure you do whatever you have to, and get preview night tickets.  There were probable twenty percent of the normal amount of people in the convention center tonight, and it was still packed.  It only took us a half hour to walk from end to end.  I bet tomorrow it will take maybe an hour and a half.

If you have a movie, tv show, comic book, or video game you were at Comic-Con.  Comic-Con was also the home of thousands of indy comics/graphic novels.  It is a great place to see new up and coming artists/authors and current ones that you have have never heard of.  If your into indie comics, it’s the place for you.

There was a big showing by some major players: Iron Man 2, Star Wars, G.I. Joe, Sony Pictures (District 9 etc), and DC Comics which were all there in force.  Another big player was StylinOnline who was the mega tee shirt retailer of the whole show.  They had five huge booths which were very impressive.

We started an online TweetPhoto promotion for StylinOnline to give away tee shirts to users who submit the best and most pictures from Comic-Con.  It will be interesting to see what kind of traction it will get tomorrow when Comic-Con goes full force.

Comic-Con displays were very Gen Y motivated.  There were lots of bright flashing lights, signs, replicas (Iron Man 2 suits for example) TVs, huge screens, and video games.  Just about anything that can captivate attention is in that giant room.  Basically, the multi tasking Gen Y are more then at home in the conference.

Some marketing notes: I am shocked at the lack of viral/guerilla marketing that was done today.  We only saw one use of any social media site.  Sony Pictures had a big mention of Twitter on their marquee and that was it.

You would think that with all the Indie comics and artists that target such niche readers, social media would be very prevalent in their marketing efforts.  This is especially true with all the mom and pop artists who have little to no budgets.  Why there was no “Friend us on Facebook” or “Join our Fan Page” or “Follow us on Twitter” I have no idea.  It is the perfect marketing opportunity for these kind of businesses and I hope I see more tomorrow.

It wasn’t just the small fish who failed in the social networking; the big fish didn’t use social media either.  It’s shocking.  With our society coming to a more personal, viral approach, it was weird to see all the major companies with the 1990’s marketing dissemination focus.

I’ll give everyone the benefit of the doubt though.  Tonight was preview night and I’m going to assume that all the stops will be pulled out starting tomorrow.  Maybe we will see more social media and personal selling efforts when it’s “game on”.

But don’t you worry…  I’ll be there back tomorrow for you all and will report all the new and exciting info.  I got your back.

May the force be with you (well not on Twitter apparently)…

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