#2 Marvel Economics: Marvel as a Movie Brand Name


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People cheered when a man with an Ironman helmet began to run his rail. When he passed the final rail, he won the gold medal in Skeleton. After winning the gold medal, he spoke at the interview that someday he is looking forward to meet Robert Downey Jr. (Role Ironman). His name is Yoon Sung-Bin. (Republic of Korea) Ironman is a superhero character in Marvel Comics. But we’re talking about 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics here. So how did Mr. Yoon begin to put an Ironman helmet?

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In fact, the effect that Marvel Comics is giving to the public is enormous. Launching Iron Man 1 in 2008, it has been 10 years since Marvel has released 20~30 hero films. Some people might think hero films as boring because its ending can be easily predicted. In addition, releasing similar characters and putting dozens of heroes in one single movie might lead to a failure of coherence. Despite all worries, Marvel Comics has built its universe successfully more and more as the time goes by and received good comments by both public and critics.

Now, ‘Marvel as a movie brand name’. Actors and actresses become celebrities and their performance fee skyrocketed. Naturally, directors begin to invest billions of dollars into Marvel movies and in return, the movies begin to earn billions of dollars also including lots of foreign currencies. As a result, other subordinate companies soon realized that they will going to make lots of profits whatever they customized products with Marvel. Theaters began to release upgrade theaters like 3D, 4D, IMAX and put up a banner like ‘If you want to really feel Avengers, join IMAX’. Moreover, they began to sell popcorns and drinks as so to speak ‘Ironman Popcorn’, ‘Captain America Metal Cup’. Toy and cloth companies took the baton. They exactly know what to do. They targeted children and began to produce numerous amount of toy figures, legos, T-shirts, hoodies, bags, caps, shoes, umbrellas, frankly speaking anything that they can put a Marvel logo. Then electronic companies opened the climax. They began to target more wide range of people, specifically people who actually do the economic activities. From 20s to 40s, people started to buy things like phone cases, mobile games, USBs, second batteries, cables, car keys, and so on. If you go to a department store, you can even see a Ironman robotic vacuum cleaner or Black Panther air cleaner.

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Interestingly, people seem to see products just because they like ‘Marvel’. They don’t really care about the function or performance. As you can see, every item can be customized and can be competitive. Simply attaching famous movie logos can bring you a lot of money. (Of course in return, you have to pay big amount of royalty to Marvel Comics) But it is becoming a big, effective marketing strategy to a lot of companies no matter which products they are making. So now go back to Marvel Comics and scan through how did a single comic impacted the world economics. Someone can deny the power of Thanos, but nobody can deny the power of Marvel.  

Written by Alex An