Marvel’s Share Your Universe Promo Effort Really About the Cartoons

In early July, Marvel announced Share Your Universe, an effort to convince their customers to do their promotional work for them. They set up a website to encourage “fans to share their favorite Super Heroes with the next generation who will make theirs Marvel.”

Marvel Share Your Universe

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of getting kids to read comics — but I support giving them titles they’ll enjoy with content appropriate to them, and very few corporate superheroes fall in that category. (Particularly since the fun of the Avengers movie, the best advertisement Marvel’s had in decades, is sadly lacking from the corresponding team titles these days.) I shouldn’t have worried, though, since the real thrust of this effort is driving cartoon viewership, as the press release ends with a blurb about the Sunday morning Disney XD Marvel block of programming.

Share Your Universe was promised to “give you all the tools you need to introduce young Mighty Marvel fans to your favorite super heroes” — which turns out to be a giveaway comic, a reminder that the MarvelKids site has 20 downloadable comics (most of which feature Power Pack), a couple of cartoon episodes to watch online, and a Facebook page that’s promoting “episodes from the Marvel Universe on Disney XD”. The comic contains an Ultimate Spider-Man story (promoting the cartoon), an Avengers story from the Marvel Universe Avengers title (promoting the cartoon), a promo excerpt for an Iron Man digest, and several ads for the Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble comic, which doesn’t come out until October. (Confusing, that was.) There’s also a Twitter tag, #ShareYourUniverse, which has had all of two mentions in the month of August.

That’s a classic problem with these kinds of efforts — setting them up is one thing, but keeping them going takes work and attention, and few companies figure that into their planning. I was pleased that Dan Buckley, “Publisher & President of the Print, Animation & Digital Divisions, Marvel Worldwide, Inc.”, acknowledged girls in his quote:

“Every Marvel fan has a unique story for how these heroes, their stories and the experience of entering the Marvel Universe helped shape their childhood — and we want to make it easy to continue that tradition with your kids, nieces, nephews, and loved ones.”

He also made a good point at the press conference:

The question was raised if these comics will “be in 7-11s” — a reference to a commonly expressed desire among those who wish to see comics returned to an easily accessible newsstand environment. Buckley pointed out that “we think about 7-11s because a lot of us started at 7-11s or a facsimile of 7-11s.” But, he noted, “It’s not about being in 7-11s per se, it’s about being where kids are now. The new five-and-dime shop is a kid grabbing your smart phone or tablet and finding the stuff that they like or you feel comfortable them looking at.”

In other words, the digital comic is the new newsstand.

3 Responses to “Marvel’s Share Your Universe Promo Effort Really About the Cartoons”

  1. Jer Says:

    “It’s not about being in 7-11s per se, it’s about being where kids are now. The new five-and-dime shop is a kid grabbing your smart phone or tablet and finding the stuff that they like or you feel comfortable them looking at.”

    “five-and-dime shop”? How old do you need to be/what part of the country do you need to be from to have walked into a five and dime shop in your lifetime? I believe these days we call them “dollar stores” because, well, inflation.

    Also if Marvel REALLY wanted to do this right they would create a special “Marvel Kids” app for the droid/ipad. And then they would dump free or 99 cent versions of ALL of their backstock of kids comics into that app, at least from the last 5 years or so. My kid loves the Marvel Adventure titles that Marvel used to put out, and if I could get more of them for him to read on my droid … I’d probably have to consider getting him his own droid now that I think about it. Maybe that’s a bad idea.

    (He also loves all of the kids books from DC written by Sholly Fisch or Art Baltazar. So DC should get on that too.)

  2. Chad Says:

    Comixology has a Comics for Kids app with all of the DC Kids titles for 99¢ a pop. (And plenty of other great non-superheroic kids’ titles.) There are some Marvel Adventures titles on there, too, but the selection is nowhere near as comprehensive, and the titles are $1.99 a pop. Which is a shame.

    In a perfect world, Sholly Fisch would write a whole line of DC Kids titles. His work on Batman Brave and the Bold was so great. Both my kids have read their copies to pieces.

  3. Chad Says:

    I should add that I like that the ComicsforKids app exists, as it allows me to buy comics for the kiddos from my existing Comixology account, but I can have them read it through that app and not have to worry about them running into something inappropriate for their age that I bought for myself.

    You know, like most of the main-line superhero comics.




Most Recent Posts: