I believe DC put everything down on the one month total relaunch for a couple of reasons. One they wanted to create something so big that it was as they say "too big to fail." Meaning it was such a gigantic "event", "shift" that everybody had to get on board on some level. It forced the hand of a retail community that was standing on the ledge, pushed there by countless crossover and promises. DC had to cut through that mindset and force them into action. On a certain level the bet paid off. It got retailers excited and it moved product that had not been moving for years. I myself have purchased more DC product in the last month than I have in the last 5 years. Call me a lapsed fan if you must but it no doubt worked on me as it did on thousands of others. It shows that if you create something worth reading comic fans will show up. They want comics to be good and even great. Despite the few churping heads on message boards and comment sections the fans want a win as much as the companies and retailers do.
The second reason DC went all in on a single month of relaunches is that they didn't want opinion/excitement to shift if it launched soft and they didn't want Marvel to make any moves to take the spotlight off them. It feels like they didn't have that much confidence in the launch and they figured let's stack the deck on the buzz interest side. It worked but mainly because Marvel made a crucial mistake. They didn't react on any level. They didn't counter program. They let DC dominate the headlines and the minds of comic fans for 6 months straight leading up to the launch and now for at least another 6 months post launch. It doesn't take a marketing expert or an understanding of brand management to see that was an epic fail.
This brings me around to the question.
What should Marvel do?
After sitting with the idea for a while I thought of a few ways Marvel could retake the advantage in the industry and set themselves up to not only control the next decade of publishing but also have a hand in comic based Transmedia. Sure it would take some serious movement and a couple of gambles but when you take it on the chin for almost a year straight from your direct competitor...now is the time for bold moves and game changing thought.
|"Thank you for buying my comic."|
Every Toy Should Come With A Comic. I've worked with toys for years. I was also responsible for creating and selling into Walmart and Target the Marvel Authentics Die-Cast toy line. Each Die Cast car was packaged with a comic. Marvel should demand that every toy comes with an actual comic or has a code to download one for free or a coupon to get one from a comic store for free...or all of the above. Kids love comics when they are introduced to them. I know the costs. It will be an extra nickle if that. Energize your young fan base by leveraging your toy licensing. Associate physical play objects with your publishing end. It's worked for Star Wars on every level. Using the toy aisle to expose kids to your published and larger media is a no brainer that needs to be fixed.
|Great for collectors...but what about the kids?|
|They watch the movies but where are the comics???|
Create the Marvel version of Image. Marvel seems to have gone away from having talent create new characters. They obviously want to completely control the catalog and not have to negotiate with creators down the line if they make a movie or use the characters in a video game. I'm sure they have an army of lawyers telling them to do this but...let's think out of the box. If Marvel wanted to dominate comic book media outside of comics they should start partnering with creators on creator owned projects. For a % of the IP they could offer their partnership in the publishing arena and also help them set it up as a movie through Marvel Studios. Five years down the line Marvel ends up with a hand in whatever becomes the next Walking Dead. The creator get's the muscle in and out of the comic publishing world. It's a win, win and turns Marvel into a true house of "new" ideas.
|For The Win!|