Superhero marketing: Lessons from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe

“There was an idea… to bring together a group of remarkable people to see if they could become something more…”  


But enough about Koobr!

If you have been to the cinema any time in the last ten years, there’s a pretty good chance it was to see one of the many Marvel blockbusters. In fact, having grossed $29.55 billion, it‘s probably harder to find someone who hasn’t watched at least one. It has to be one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, and it is these levels of accomplishment that most of us can only aspire to.

So, what lessons can we take from Marvel to make our marketing something of superhero proportions?

The hero complex

The idea of the superhero has long been popular due to the sense of hope that it gives us, and this is something your marketing should aim to replicate. From comic books to cinematic blockbusters, these heroes resonate with people because of our unwavering belief that good will triumph and the right guys will come out on top.  

It is something that your marketing needs to play on to position your brand as one of the good guys so that people don’t just buy what you are selling but are actively rooting for you. Marvel were super successful in taking this idea from the bedrooms of children and turning it into something iconic that is recognised the world over.  

All because we love to believe in a hero.  

Building anticipation

What makes you come back for more? What puts you on the edge of your seat? Marvel are the masters of anticipation, whether it’s during the films themselves or in the wait for a new one. We all love a bit of suspense, waiting to see how things turn out, even when it puts us through the emotional trauma of Avengers: Endgame.   

At the end of Iron Man, Nick Fury teases that Tony Stark is not the only superhero, but we are made to wait for the rest of the films before we get to meet Captain America and friends. This tease ensures that they keep us wanting more.  


What we want is a good story, and to not be spoon-fed all of the answers in the first five minutes.


Your marketing can play on this. Present problems that your customer base might be facing, emphasise how difficult they can be to overcome and the impact they can have before showing your brand as the hero – the solution to all their problems that can race in at the end and save the day.  


One thing that any fan of Marvel will admit is the consistent high quality that they continue to deliver. They never disappoint either in their storylines or in their beautiful cinematography. It is this that has helped to keep Marvel and its heroes at the top of their game since 2008. It also means that when you see the Marvel name attached to anything, you know it is going to be good, even if you have never heard of it. After all, who would have watched Ant-Man otherwise? 

This is something that your brand has to replicate, in both your marketing and the service that you deliver. By ensuring consistency, your customers will know exactly what they are getting, and will develop a trust in your brand that will resonate with them when you launch something new. 

With great power comes great responsibility, so you have to make sure that your business and services can live up to any hype that it creates. 

Create a buzz

Even if you are not a fan of Marvel, then you are probably still aware of the hype that surrounds every single new release. Marvel have become experts at giving people something to talk about, and when people are talking about your brand, you are getting free advertising that it is difficult to rival. They achieve this through carefully guarded scripts, special end credit scenes and foreshadowing Eater eggs, and whilst you may not have the might of a Hollywood blockbuster, you can employ the same tactics. 

Some of the most successful marketing campaigns have been the ones that get people talking. They create something clever in their advertising, back a cause or make people stop and think. Some of them become famous for their humour whilst others pose puzzles and mysteries to ensure that when some form of advertising appears from them, people sit up and take notice. 

Charles Xavier tells us that “while you slept, the world changed” and you don’t want your business to be the one that is caught napping.

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