It’s the place where cosplayers, fanatic fans, industry creators and celebrities all meet under one roof: it’s the San Diego Comic-Con.
From non-hints about Game of Thrones Season 7 to first trailers for much-anticipated films like Wonder Woman (ahem, 12 million views already and counting), people were practically drooling over all the footage and insider knowledge that trickled out of the weekend-long event.
The greatest thing? Comic-Con managed to wow, tease and excite just about anyone. It’s not just exclusively for the stereotypical comic book nerd. With over 700 different programmed events, there’s literally something for everyone. It’s truly a customizable, curated experience that gives any kind of fan all the content he or she could dream of.
This is what captured our minutes this week.
1. It’s a huge trade show in nature that has mastered the art of generating buzz.
Sure, a movie trailer is always exciting. But it’s the San Diego Comic-Con trailers that people look forward to the most. They are truly the authority in the upcoming movie world.
That’s not all there is to it.
Exhibitors, from Adobe to Disney and even local artists, are present showing off the latest and greatest of what they have to offer. Fan-favourite stars, like basically anyone from GOT, play with audiences’ emotions while teasing (or not) what’s upcoming in their respective series. Directors and producers reveal behind-the scenes trade secrets that reveal the nuances of plot twists or character switch-ups.
Why does this all matter so much? Because of the first-in-line nature of all this information. Sure bloggers and news organizations alike do their recaps, but for the brief while that the information isn’t out yet, it’s special. Audiences go and leave feeling like they got an exclusive look at insider info that no one else has.
If there’s anything audiences love most, it’s feeling like they got a truly unique experience.
On top of all this, companies and their brands get mega amounts of exposure. Comic-Con has a reputation of being THE spot to get action. Audiences crave what the convention has to offer and brands crave audiences’ minutes. You can guarantee that anyone who was in San Diego maximized their time accordingly.
2. The lineup of trailers shown is indicative of the blurring of the lines between TV shows and movies.
People didn’t always care about TV pilots. Trailers were not a thing for anyone. New shows were hyped by a little asterisk in the TV guide.
Now, pilots (especially those of the Netflix Original kind) are built-up the same way a movie is. Sneak peaks, teaser trailers, cryptic imaging: these tactics are all shared between the two formats interchangeably.
This matters. TV shows were not blockbusters back in the day, nor were they meant to be. Now they are, but just in a more serialized way. Don’t want to sit for 2.5 hours in a dark theatre? Like to spend longer times getting to know a character? Watch a TV show. They’re just as carefully produced and invested in as a feature film.
Look at Daredevil. Season 3 is coming and you can guarantee the Netflix series is doing far better than the 2003 Ben Affleck flop. This show revamp doesn’t gloss over details and smush characters together in a mere 2 hours. It’s gritty, it has an intense plotline that gets more complicated as time goes on and character development that makes audiences devote their minutes to finding out what happens next.
3. The rise of the spin-off show is upon us.
Sequels and spin-offs have typically been a grey area. They could be great, but often don’t end up comparing to the originals and fans berate the crap out of them online.
This year’s Comic-Con was proof that it’s territory worth exploring. From the first Justice League trailer (built-up from the Batman V. Superman movie) to the latest Netflix series Luke Cage (taking characters from the Jessica Jones craze), audiences wanted more.
This is heightened storytelling. The key is that in the original series that inspire these spin-offs the characters all have such depth to them. They offer different viewers different things to relate to, but on such a strong level that they deserve their own storyline because people wonder about these characters’ backstories.
The other genius thing here? Continuity for the business. Audiences get more of what they love and the brands get more minutes, more eyeballs and a wider repertoire of content offering.
Overall, Comic-Con and all its exclusive content offerings kept us glued to our screens all weekend long looking forward to all the upcoming release dates.
At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.
What will win this week?