Wednesday, April 25

Super Hero Advertising

What's up with all the super heroes in our advertising these days?  I suddenly feel like every tv spot I see has some sort of a super hero theme to it.  What's driving this?

Take a look at Planters:

Or this spot from Dr. Pepper with The Avengers, a movie coming out this summer:

Or even this campaign from Electrolux featuring Kelly Ripa, the ultimate super hero mom:

There have also been advertising campaigns with super hero themes just recently coming from Walgreens and Intel as well.  Do we have an obsession with super heroes these days?  Are we just getting ready for the summer movie blockbusters since the weather has been so warm?

Or is there a more fundamental cultural aspect here?  Are our lives so crazy busy (and our need to be multi-tasking) that we feel like super heroes?  Is that our aspiration now?  While I like the thought, it's a little daunting, and I'm not sure it's sustainable?  Or is this just a creative fad we are going through?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience


  1. It's a sign that optimism is winning out over pessimism, Jim. That's my (optimistic) take.

    I enjoyed your webinar on Vocus today. Good show.

  2. It bridges 2 audiences. The younger and older generations. As an older generation we can relate to the James Bond like "Nuts", The Comic Book "Dr. Pepper Avengers", and BeWitched Mom who can get things done with a twinkle of her nose. To younger generation, it's just plain cool. It introduces dialogue between young and old as well, Dad who were the avengers? Kids come on down and watch this show called Bewitched. It creates an emotion young or old and bridges generational gaps.

  3. Young and old alike love superheroes. What's not to love? It's brilliant advertising because people transfer their positive feelings about superheroes to the brands they represent in the ads. I see an Electrolux now and want it because heck, it might change me into a super mom, a la Kelly Ripa. Plus I wonder if as a society we tend to feel more hopeful and optimistic going into an election year? As in, "this time, it will be different" and thus, better? Hence the profusion of optimistic superheroes in ads.

  4. Indeed - I think it's the hopeful optimism that as humans we always strive for. Jim.