Why Avengers: Endgame's Marketing Is Better
Marvel's new marketing strategy is actually for the better for multiple reasons, but none is as important as protecting spoilers. Marvel was able to save Infinity War's most surprising moments for the theater despite clearly laying out the plot and how each character was involved. Since Marvel appears to be prepared to not show that much footage from Avengers: Endgame, it should guarantee that the film's many surprises should be able to be kept all the way until the film's release. And, the nearly simultaneous release worldwide in April can go a long way in helping this cause. But, even in a broader sense, it should allow most of Avengers: Endgame to be a surprise. Marvel's making sure that every action set piece, most of the jokes, and all of the surprises are going to be experienced in the theater for the first time.
What Marvel is taking advantage of with Avengers: Endgame is the history of the franchise that comes before. They know that audiences are going to rush out to theaters to see what the movie holds no matter what. This allows them to show snippets of new footage that only show a character doing a simple action, but still sell viewers on the stakes of the event and the aftermath of the snap. And thanks to the investment that audiences have built up over the last several years, Marvel is actually able to make this work.
This strategy will also hopefully continue as the marketing picks up too. Marvel Studios will still release a second, and possibly final, trailer for Avengers: Endgame sometime around Captain Marvel's theatrical debut. Once Captain Marvel is out in theaters and possibly has an Avengers: Endgame-related post-credits scene, Marvel's full focus will be on their late April release. Carol's involvement, Iron Man and Nebula back on Earth, time travel, Quantum Realm suits, Thanos' role, and a whole lot more has yet to be seen. Will they be able to resist the urge of showing too much more in a final trailer? Hopefully the answer is yes.
Will Endgame Influence Other Blockbusters?
If this almost tragic marketing campaign continues for Avengers: Endgame and results in the movie gaining critical acclaim and maybe even another $2 billion at the box office, will other studios try to replicate this too with their own blockbusters? Most likely, but that may not be smart. Part of what sets the MCU apart is the incredible amount of goodwill they've built over the last 11 years, which helps make this transition from popcorn fun to tragedy possible. This is also a fitting decision as Avengers: Endgame will complete one long story, probably as it says goodbye to lasting characters in the process. Marvel can get away with focusing on characters over action, while others may not.
There's no shortage of franchises claiming they will end in 2019 either, so the possibility for this marketing campaign to be replicated could come soon. Marvel is as guilty of this claim as anyone with Endgame being the end of one story but the beginning of many more - some that will even begin just a few months later when Spider-Man: Far From Home is released. The soonest we could see Endgame's marketing campaign copied could be with another Disney film, Star Wars: Episode IX. The ninth film in the Skywalker saga is reportedly going to be the final one of the main franchise, and J.J. Abrams' notorious secrecy could mean another vague campaign is on the way. However, it is unlikely that Star Wars 9 will say goodbye to most of its main cast and, as crazy as it may seem, the franchise is in a position of needing to win audiences back after divisive receptions to Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
If studios do attempt to copy Avengers: Endgame's limited marketing plan, they'll have to do it carefully. There's not even a guarantee that Marvel will be able to deliver on the version of Avengers: Endgame they are currently marketing either. But, given their history and brand awareness, the upcoming MCU blockbuster may be uniquely qualified to make such a campaign actually work - and so far it is.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019