In 2019, competing for consumer attention is more complex than ever. We all come into contact with hundreds of brands on a daily basis and opportunities for companies to sell themselves to any type of massive audience are few and far between.
This past month has represented an interesting confluence of monoculture that is becoming more and more rare. The release of two highly anticipated pieces of the cultural zeitgeist in Avengers: Endgame and the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones are things that have captured a global attention in a way that almost never happens any more. For lots of big brands, this represented an opportunity to put themselves on display that was difficult to pass up. As is customary on the internet, I will preface the remainder of this article by letting the readers know that this will be SPOILER FREE!
Avengers: Endgame smashed every type of record it possibly could: Highest number of trailer views in 24 hours, highest number of presale tickets, widest North American release ever, highest-grossing Thursday previews, highest-grossing opening day, highest-grossing single day, highest-grossing weekend…the list goes on and on.
The list of brands riding the wave of Endgame hype is nearly as long:
- Audi has long had a presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Avengers ride of choice, beginning with Tony Stark introducing the world to the Audi R8 in 2008’s Iron Man, and Endgame is no different with Tony this time cruising in an Audi e-tron GT concept car. This a big push for Audi into their e-tron all electric line of cars.
- Coca-Cola is running an ad in 57 different countries showing its Coca-Cola No Sugar giving a young girl the power she needs to make the movie on time.
- The Geico Gecko is inspired by an Endgame poster to don the Infinity Gauntlet in order to save customers money on their car insurance.
- Google showed off their new Pixel 3 smart phone with “Playmoji” stickers of the film’s heroes
- Hertz car rental wants to let consumers know about getting extra insurance options on their rental cars considering the perils of driving when the planet is under attack by Thanos.
Game of Thrones was also a focal point for brands looking to insert themselves into every water cooler conversation possible this month with numerous tie-ins and collaborations:
- Johnnie Walker released a custom whiskey collection with each iteration tied to the various houses of Westeros.
- Mountain Dew took a bold risk by removing all of their own branding from cans, opting instead to make “the ultimate sacrifice for the throne” and having the blank cans only display Game of Thrones related “kill list” of popular character Arya Stark.
- Oreo’s replaced their iconic word mark on their cookies with the emblems of Westeros’ houses.
- Even unofficial opportunities are being taken advantage of, and such is the case with Aldi having Thrones-like characters comparing their store brand toilet paper to the name brands.
Moments like these are rare, and although any alteration of or acquiescing to when it comes to a company’s brands is something that has to be done only with careful consideration and tremendous forethought, these two examples presented an opportunity to rich for these brands to pass up.