Following last week’s announcement that the Man of Steel sequel will be delayed until May 6, 2016, a myriad of rumors have emerged explaining why the film was pushed back. Thinking beyond how injured Ben Affleck may be, or the true state of the film’s script, a new report has popped up that mentions the consequences this delay will have on the film’s viral marketing campaign, and we thought it would be worth sharing. Hit the jump for some speculative analysis.
The following quote comes courtesy of Comic Book Movie, whose source, among other things, discusses the impact the Batman vs. Superman delay will have on its viral marketing campaign:
“I’m told by my source, that the marketing campaign for Batman Vs. Superman will still be starting up this year. Photo releases can be expected in the coming months and a viral site will be launched with a “choose your side” angle.”
Understanding the above information is not confirmed or verified by an official source, there are some facets to the quote worth thinking about, as the claims certainly sound reasonable considering previous rumors about the project.
The “choose your side” approach to the viral campaign reinforces the long held belief that Batman and Superman interacting as adversaries will be a pivotal component of the plot. From a marketing standpoint, the approach makes sense. Even if Batman and Superman are at odds during the film, they are both beloved heroes to the movie-going public, and this sort of campaign would present them as such. While the set-up is offered as a choice to consumers, really, this is a way for Warner Bros. to market both characters through a dual campaign. Smart.
The mention of “photo releases” is also worth noting. My hunch is that Warner Bros. will attempt to render production spy photos meaningless by releasing official photos of Batman, Superman, and maybe even Wonder Woman once shooting does start. The question is, will they do so through traditional public relations methods by sending them straight to websites, or will fans receive their first look at the new bat suit, or this iteration of Superman, as part of the opening salvo to an epic, two-year-plus viral campaign?
While burnout from an extended campaign is a result marketers will want to avoid, I doubt a film with this devoted a fan base will grow tired of these heroes before they hit the big screen. With the release date pushed back, there is certainly potential for the Batman vs. Superman viral marketing campaign to be one of the biggest and longest running we have covered for the site.
While we wait for official answers, I suppose there is only one question to ask: Batman. Superman. Whose side are you on?