The annual convention, which is expected to draw 130,000 participants to San Diego this July 21-24, is the place where you’ll see folks dressed up as their favorite Star Trek characters and where fans are truly fanatical.
While most of us gave up Dungeons & Dragons when we hit high school, the Comic-Con set is known for attracting freaks and geeks who are both hardcore and hard-wired, and are widely sought after for their social media savvy and buzz-building power.
Warner Brothers Television Group Chief Marketing Officer Lisa Gregorian calls them “evangelists,” and rightly so.
But not so fast.
Fishing where the fish are makes perfect sense, except that sometimes the fish don’t bite. And worse, they sometimes tell everyone else in the pond that the bait is not worth the bite. Both “Tron” and “Sucker Punch” failed to deliver at the box office.
Fans of the HBO show “Entourage” may fondly remember an episode from Season 2, in which Vince is troubled at Comic-Con when a well-known blogger, portrayed by Rainn Wilson, promises to write a scathing review of Vince’s new movie, “Aquaman.” (Never mind how Vince manages to score a positive review in the end.)
Imagine the power of 130,000 Rainn Wilsons dissing your movie in the months leading up to opening, and the ripple effect these evangelists create via Facebook, Twitter, message boards and chat rooms.
Betting big sometimes means losing big. Hank Aaron hit 755 home runs but he also struck out 1,383 times.
Next time you’re thinking about launching your “next big thing” at the industry’s largest trade show, consider first building buzz among your most loyal and vocal following and allowing them to carry the message to the masses.