EDITORIALS

Discussion: Have We Reached Iron Man Overload?

by
April 9, 2008

Have We Reached Iron Man Overload?

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?

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  • Stephen
    At this point I don't think I can get enough, I have been looking forward to this for ever now and it is very close. I have even already read the novelization. Can't wait for the movie.
  • bigmike23
    All this new material really isn't new, just longer plays on stuff we've already seen. Plus this character is different from The Dark Knight, in that this is the first movie so they really have to sell it to get the franchise going. Think Spiderman 1.
  • matthew
    I'm gonna see it over and over again...so no worries LOL.
  • 4th Horseman
    I think your appetite for this is smaller than the others... Ooooh so sorry Mr. Powers that the marketing people for iron man did not take the same road as the Dark Knight"... Who cares dude! This movie is going to destroy at the box office. I'm super excited to see it, as is everyone else theres no denying that. If your a fan nothing will quench your thirst, only the movie.
  • Alex ...you are right about that... As I mentioned in past comments that Iron Man is not one of my top 10 movies for 2008 .... and what I see in the trailer is just a really good CGI nothing more... don't get me wrong maybe the movie will be really great but the point now is .... having such a big clips and images before it release shows that they want to make it really big ... but is it big in real ???? or it is there wish to be a movie that take the spot from Indiana Jones , The Dark Knight and Hellboy and other movies .... even I am sure they will not do anything by it because for me as much as you show more and more materials for a movie before it release it mean 2 things : 1- You are not sure about the Movie and you want to make people know about it more and give them some small parts that will make them come and see the movie 2- You are 100% sure that the movie is bad and you don't know how to make people know about just the good parts and come to see it .... For example why Indiana Jones have not that big commercial images and trailers until now ... ??? I know Indiana Jones don't need introduction and without any clips and images still there is a big amount of people who want to see the movie ... even if Harrison Ford is older ... 😉 Iron Man have a great Names in the credit from the actor like : Robert Downey Jr. "who is good for Camedia not for an action hero" , Samuel L. Jackson ...Hilary Swank ... Gwyneth Paltrow ...and a lot of more actors but sorry Jon Favreau as a Director for an action film ???? Are you kidding me ???? I am sure that his second Assistant Director ... has direct all the action stuff ...because I saw how they did the same thing in the movie Troy 2004 and everyone who was not in the set still think that Wolfgang Petersen is a great director for action movies ...but it is not true because he just direct the speech and the face to face dialogue among the actors as a theatrical Director ... because he is in real not a director for a movie but he is good for theater ... No one know Simon Crane who did maybe 50% of the movie by him self .... he was the second Assistant Director !!! All what I see in this trailer is a good CGI ... not the director is good for such a movie and not the actor is for this role ... with all my respect for the fans of Iron Man .
  • :-) I thought it is you Alex sorry Kevin .. my previews post is for you
  • They did the same with Casino Royale and by the time I saw the film there were no surprises, apart from the fact that James was so dumb not to see he was being played by Eva Green. I loved that full trailer for Iron Man that was put out but have tried to self censor so I don't see too much and ruin the experience. I tried to do the same thing with Transformers last year. I do think Iron Man's task is harder than Batman. That film has a substantially bigger fanbase and thus the makers can afford to be a little 'less' with it's marketing. I guess Iron Man has to generate that appeal from the get go and thus maybe why they are over compensating.
  • Alex, it seems you erroneously believe you, me and we are the targets of this marketing campaign. In the world outside of our websites and comic book shops, Iron Man is a "who?". The success of this film relies on two things 1) It being good, 2) It getting noticed. Lets assume 1s a given, it still needs to get noticed. Whilst we move in circles where Wally West, Barbara Gordon and Tony Stark can be dropped into casual conversation, the number of people who recognise those names, do not a blockbuster make. I'm not surprised you're feeling overloaded, there has been a lot of information released and I've no doubt you've seen it all, but the awareness needs to reach a wider audience and the only way to do that is to release more info to the press. Batman, however, is a completely different ball game, everyone knows Bruce Wayne. They've the luxury of playing with this viral marketing and I love how they are rewarding the fans with this, its better _because_ its focussed on us. We are the target of this one. But this wouldn't work in all cases. P.S. Early release in Belgium, yeah Baby!! : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371746/releaseinfo
  • Dr.Duvel, I don't believe that there is too much!! It's all Kevin... :) But it was still a good article that I definitely wanted to get out there for consideration. And you're exactly right - there is an audience they're aiming for. In fact, to them, they've already got us covered. I really don't think an overflow of media is going to cause any already-excited Iron Man to NOT go see it on opening weekend. It's just the opposite - they're still trying to convince even MORE people who aren't yet at that point... I forgot to mention, but this is EXACTLY like the Transformers campaign last summer (coincidental that they're both Paramount?). By the time Transformers came out, we had something like 12 TV spots and 10 different clips of badass robots fighting. I saw them all and still found a LOT more to get out of the movie. And that's the way I feel with Iron Man too!! Why do you think I titled this article here "Is There More To This We're Missing?"? Because looking at those photos, I have a feeling that there is a lot more to this movie that we haven't seen. Lots of fights, a lot more of the story. I think Favreau has crafted something that seems like we've seen it all, but really we haven't! Only time will well, eh? :)
  • heckle0
    I've been avoiding the last few pics and traillers just so i dont see anymore. I did however stop at a 7-11 yesterday and get an IRONMAN helmet cup. :)
  • DJO
    I think most people are taking a break, and yes, I think the marketing should take a short break here. I definitely still want to see the movie- i mean at this point the trailer completely has me hooked. They need to break down that same excitement into equally intelligent & captivating TV commercials, that don't water down as they ramp up to the release. Maybe Marvel studios could benefit from a little Viral Marketing. I'd see no problem in that. They should get a spot in some tabloids somewhere, about Tony Stark's life. Or start creating Marvel Tabloids to put in targeted slots. Guess they can't directly copy DK & do a Daily Bugle spread online... but hone in one what's distinct about him, vs. Batman: i.e. the Rock & Roll element. They could make a video of the Entire Iron Man song, by Sabbath, instead of just little clips, using footage from the film and maybe a little extra. (MTV, after all, was an early version of 'viral' when you think about it) Tour the Iron Man suits around, w/ appearances by the actual Tony Stark, who pulls up in his Audi. It is interesting that, now that they've put this much out, they CAN'T backpedal, and roll out little dollops of mystery at this point. (Which is IRONIC, b/c his first appearance was in something called "Tales of SUSPENSE") ...maybe that's the key... Bring Iron Man back to his roots. Figure out how to add a little suspense to the whole equation...
  • DJO
    Personally, I thought that one photo, of the tarnished, battered Iron Man crawling up a rock, his face rendered black by black soot and his electric eyes beaming- could stand as a fresh advertising campaign ALONE. It had a certain "There Will Be Blood" quality to it. Simple. Mysterious. Just enough information to pull you in... This is my way of saying those goddamned Attack of the Clones-looking Photoshop posters just don't cut it for me. At least the Star Wars & Indiana Jones ones are painted by an actual artist. Maybe get the painter who designed the suit to produce some new posters, and you'd have yourself a fresh, new, enticingly mysterious campaign to run with! Because those paintings are truly awesome... better than literally antyhing we've seen in the comics, to date! MILK THAT SHIT!
  • Rob
    I remember the amount of over-exposure Spider-Man 3 had, it had it's first teaser come out almost a year before the film arrived, and many people were disappointed. I think that the studio executives want to sell this movie as much as they can, showing all the things people want to see, except that there will be really nothing to see once the movie arrives, and people will be really disappointed.
  • buttons
    No. Seeing all the footage, the talent of the cast and direction. No, can't ever have enough iron man.
  • Curtis
    Great article, but i dont think all the stuff i see on it will stop me from going to see the movie when it comes out it just fuels my anticipation to actually see the full movie..
  • Sorry Kevin/Alex, My Bad.
  • Lee
    Ummmm well I think the US Gov't has got all excited about Iron Man and decided its possible and made this fricking suit!! How awesome is this!!! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7351314.stm

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