Discussion: Have We Reached Iron Man Overload?
by Kevin Powers
April 9, 2008
Just the other day I was thinking to myself that there has been a TON of Iron Man imagery and video that has hit the net over the last year. If you recall, we brought you the first look at the official Mark III armor back in May of 2007. Can you believe that much time has passed? Since then, the marketing for the assured summer blockbuster has steadily increased as we near its May 2nd release date, so much so I feel like we're drowning in metallic red and gold. How about you?
This really hit me when Alex posted the latest clip earlier this week. I noticed the news and politely shelved it to return to later, since I had already glanced over a couple of the numerous new photos Paramount released just the day before. It was yet another morsel or footage that would fall well short of satisfying my eagerness to see the film, so I figured it could wait. Was it ultimately badass? Sure. Did I need another clip? Not really.
This is a rough estimation, but so far the marketing team for Iron Man has churned out a teaser trailer, full trailer, four different TV spots including one during the Superbowl, at least two separate clips, and too many images to count. Of course, there are also other areas of marketing, such as the Iron Man widget (for all you social media lovers) and cross-marketing to include LG, 7-Eleven and Audi. Feeling full yet?
Of course, marketing for a film is supposed to whet the appetite of viewers and ultimately encourage them to see the film. However, when exposure reaches a certain level, you have to ask yourself if it's actually helping the film and worthwhile to you as the viewer. Sure, I can politely ignore any other images or trailers that come out, but I do wonder how much of the movie we've already seen through this mountain of promotional material.
What gets a bit more interesting is when you compare Paramount's campaign for Iron Man with Warner Brothers' campaign for The Dark Knight. Arguably, the two films play on similar levels (with both being comic book based), but are marketed in completely different ways. The Dark Knight has primarily been viral and is in many ways supplementing and building to the story. We're not actually seeing the movie material so much as being primed for it by tangential information. As a result, there's been little visibility into the film itself, and a general feeling that there's still so much to discover when it comes out in July. Iron Man, on the other hand, is a bit more traditional in its marketing approach, slowly (somewhat) revealing what we'll ultimately get to see in full in three short weeks. Consequently, we have a pretty good feeling for what we'll be walking into. Which campaign is actually more effective is another story.
So back to the question at hand, is there too much Iron Man out there? I guess we'll see what'll pop up over the remaining weeks until May 2nd, but you can expect it'll be more prevalent and frequent. We've already seen the Iron Man collector Slurpee cups - cross-marketing like this is sorta fun - but what more, in terms of photos and videos, can Paramount actually release? Is there anything remaining that we haven't seen much of already? I mean, sure, the film is near two hours worth of material and the stuff released so far is probably a shadow of that, but you get what I mean.
Beyond what the promotional material has shown or might, do you even want to see it now? There are only three more weeks until the debut, so I for one feel like going on an Iron Man fast. I'm sure I can't hide from seeing the superhero's face plastered all over town (or headlining this website for that matter!), but I can refrain from cracking open anything released that promises new material. I think that'll make seeing the movie on May 2nd all the more sweet.
Or is my appetite for this stuff smaller than others? Who hungers for more material and who's had their fill?