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“The Con is back !"
Comic-Con San Diego has arrived. Are you not entertained?
Comic-Con San Diego is back!
After a 2 year absence, the Con of Cons has arrived with an in-person event.
Unfortunately, Show vs Business did not go this year, but we have been watching all the news and excitement from afar and now have observations.
First, there is a ton of stuff being announced. I mean, obviously, it is Comic-Con, but it just seems to be overwhelming. The legendary Hall H has the big guns back this year - the MCU and DCEU. In addition, a new Game of Thrones show is here, a prequel to the Lord of the Rings, and various other franchises like John Wick, Star Trek, and He-Man have all made the trek to San Diego. To be honest, too much stuff has always been the case for Comic-Con going all the way back to 2011 when we first attended. But for some reason, it feels a bit much. Maybe it's because now we have so much nerd content and news and spoilers and reactions to that content. It makes the actual Comic-Con event almost anti-climatic.
Secondly, the Big Guns are holding back. Although, both MCU and the DCEU are showcasing upcoming projects, it seems that the roadmap of where these projects are going has been left out.
**Correction** The MCU, during their Comic-Con appearance, announced their big Phase 5 and Phase 6 plans that will make up the new multiple-phased storyline they are calling the Multiversal War. So we stand corrected. DCEU your move
MCU has the D23 , the annual Disney Fan Club event that happens in September and DCEU now has their virtual Fandom event. We have to wonder if other content providers like Netflix and Amazon will begin to host their own special fan events for Stranger Things and The Boys respectively. It only makes sense. In marketing, there is a term called brand activation. Brand Activation is the ability to provide a brand experience for customers that will increase brand awareness and brand presence. If an entertainment company has its own fan event, this just creates more unique fan experiences exclusive to your brand versus diffusing it with a crowded multi-company event like San Diego Comic-Con. Although the MCU had to rush their Phase 5 and 6 plans due to Reddit users spotting Avenger title trademarks, it is our prediction that future big announcements will be moving away from Comic-Con.
Fiege going big at Comic Con 2022
Finally, we now live in a world where geek pop culture is dominant, how long can that last ? When we first attended the Con back in the 2010s, the MCU had just launched and the Nolan run of Batman films had just ended. Now we have over 13 streaming services, 550 original shows, 403 movies, and countless other media (podcasts, social media, video games) that are largely devoted to superhero genre storytelling. Geek pop culture is now mainstream and we fear that it may no longer feel special. Will the Gen Z(ers) (those born in the early 2000s) reject geek culture for another genre? This has happened before when Westerns dominated movies and TV but then were dumped over time. To avoid this, the MCU and others, are trying to create sub-genres within the Super Hero genre. For example, Dr. Strange embraced horror while Thor Love and Thunder is clearly a romantic comedy. Will that be enough to keep audiences entertained? Only time will tell.
Ultimately, we are happy Comic-Con is back and with more brand experiences that will create the next geek culture super fans. Comic-Con may be all about the Hall H announcements but it still makes room for niche content like video games, toys, and comic books (imagine that). This will, hopefully, spark the next great content renaissance.
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