- Sony Pictures and ESPN CreativeWorks have teamed up for four TV spots featuring Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Tony Stark/Iron Man to promote the upcoming release of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” during the NBA finals, per a Sony press release.
- The ads will feature highlights from in-game action nearly live, a creative element the release stated was a first for ESPN CreativeWorks.
- The spots were directed by Jon Watts, the director of the upcoming cinematic release, and will run on ABC/EPSN TV, digital and social media.
Broadcasters are attempting to rethink the standard TV spot to bring added excitement to the viewing experience in an attempt to encourage consumers to continue watching their big during breaks instead of picking up their smartphones to check out social media. At the same time, ratings are declining overall. Live or nearly-live content is emerging as one way to keep viewers eyes on the big screen and provide added value so broadcasters can attract advertisers' dollars. During the Super Bowl this year, Snickers ran a live TV ad in which things intentionally went wrong, generating 1.5 billion impressions.
In general, there are signs that marketers are struggling to decide where to invest their advertising dollars this year, with both digital and traditional TV presenting challenges. P&G, the world's largest advertiser is shifting some budget back to TV, a move that may not be welcome by some broadcasters as the CPG giant has grandfathered-in deals in place that keep its costs down.
The Spider-Man campaign combines two popular vehicles for brand partnerships — major sports events like the Super Bowl and March Madness, which have always been tapped for marketing opportunities, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is becoming a standout branding opportunity for advertisers. The creative behind the spots craft a story arc with Tony Stark throwing an NBA finals viewing party and Peter Parker/Spider-Man facing obstacles attempting to make it to the event. The game highlights featured in the ad are incorporated via Spider-Man seeing footage of the game he is missing trying to reach the party.
CreativeWorks is ESPN’s in-house creative team.