Tag Archives: fail

This Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fails Marketing 101

When you’ve got a big budget movie coming out aimed at kids, reminding folks of 9/11 probably isn’t the best marketing movie. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens August 8 here in the US, but it opens September 11 in Australia. To promote the movie, Paramount Pictures’ Australia branch released a poster. Unfortunately that poster features an exploding building, people (in this case turtles) falling out of it, and September 11 clear as day.

tmnt sept 11 posterThe image appeared on the official Twitter account of Paramount Pictures Australia. It has since been deleted. Back to the drawing board I think.

(via Kotaku)

I is for Internet Issues

In June of 2013 Image Comics made a bold decision to strike out offering digital versions of their comics directly through website DRM free. I had mixed feelings about it, though they were mostly negative due to boisterous claims that if just examined a little bit, were easily dispelled as all talk. In a three-part series, I took on the decision and announcement, breaking down the claims and examining what was really going on. You can check that out here, here, and here.

One of the talking points given by Image’s Director of Business Development Ron Richards was other digital service’s going out of business or their system going down due to “act of god.”

And God forbid, if ComiXology goes under or their data center has an earthquake all their hard drives go away — then you’ve got nothing.

A few months before the decision was made, comiXology had a service interruption due to a promotion involving the distribution of almost every first issue Marvel has ever produced. You can imagine the traffic from that and can see the spike in interest in one easy graphic.

I warned that Image’s talking points about a system going down is just asking for trouble, and right about 6 months later, I was right. This is what I said then….

The first time their site goes down, he’ll have to eat his own words.

To celebrate a stellar 2013, Image decided to run a “flash sale” giving away the first issue for each of their releases in 2013. As you’d expect there was a crush of users attempting to take part and their site went down, making it impossible to access my account, but I was able to read my already downloaded comics. Exactly like the comiXology scenario that Richards slammed as he made the news rounds.


Image took to the internet to apologize for the issue.


So a company decides to give a bunch of first issues away, the response is overwhelming and the system crashes.

image apology

Some things come full circle. But, Marvel and comiXology worked through their technical issues allowing everyone who tried to partake eventually. In Image’s case, those that missed out sound like they’re out of luck.


NYCC 2013: The Great Twitter Hijacking

In a massive failure by New York Comic Con the convention hijacked accounts of individuals who linked their Twitter accounts to their account for the show when they activated their badge, an option that’s becoming more common for shows. The show, without express permission then used those connections and sent out tweets in praise of the show. The links all lead to the convention’s Facebook page.


This lead to a lot of confusion and some unhappiness from attendees. New York Comic Con has since sent out a statement but not exactly an apology:

As you may have seen yesterday, there were some posts to Twitter and Facebook issued by New York Comic Con on behalf of attendees after RFID badges were registered. This was an opt-in function after signing in, but we were probably too enthusiastic in our messaging and eagerness to spread the good word about NYCC. We have since shut down this service completely and apologize for any perceived overstep. Please accept our apologies and have an absolutely excellent time this weekend. -Your friends at NYCC

This is a pretty big failure for a high profile show and having gone through the process myself to activate my badge, there wasn’t an obvious statement that you were opting in for this to happen.

You can file this under, what not to do…..

(via Mashable, Kotaku)

Avengers Vs. X-Men on The Chew, Except They Don’t Know Marvel From DC

Last Wednesday, Avengers Vs. X-Men got some coverage on ABC‘s The Chew.  ABC is owned by Disney which also owns Marvel, hence this poorly thought out promotion.  The problem is that the hosts of the show don’t know their DC from their Marvel.  With references to Supergirl, Superman, methinks Marvel might want to do a better job prepping folks before plugging their product on a show.

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Ashes Isn’t the First Kickstarter Project to Offer Retailer Incentives

It’s great to see Publishers Weekly cover Kickstarter and Alex de Campi & Jimmy Broxton’s Ashes.  It’s an interesting project and I myself chipped in $30.  Kickstarter is a crowd sourcing website that allows creators to reach out to the public to raise money for their projects.  It’s become a democratic publishing engine that relies on consumers to vote with their pledges and dollars.  However in the coverage, writer Todd Allen claimed:

In what appears to be the first of its kind, de Campi has offered a “retailer pack” of the graphic novel: 5 limited edition, numbered hardcover graphic novels (suggested retail price: $30) for $105, which works out to a 30% discount. The offer also includes an “art card” that can be sold immediately and also contains a password to read the digital edition of the graphic novel, which will be serialized at comiXology as the book is being produced. The participating stores will be the only retail locations selling Ashes in 2012.

That’s fantastic except two projects (I found, might be more) beat Ashes by over 3 months when it comes to retailer incentives.  Super by Aberrant Press and The Hero Code by Jamie Gambell both offered incentives for retailers.

Super saw two levels for $200 and $500.

$200 – GROUP/RETAILER PLEDGE #1: 20 copies of the book will be sent to you as well as 20 of the preview books and 20 of the postcards and your name(s) printed in the book’s “thank you’s” section. Also, you’ll get a page of original art (again, first pledged gets first pick).

$500 – GROUP/RETAILER PLEDGE #2: 40 copies of the book will be sent to you as well as 40 of the preview books, 50 of the postcards, your name(s) printed in the book’s “thank you’s” section and 10 of the signed and numbered prints! Also, you’ll get 2 pages of original art from the book (first pledged gets first pick)!!! AND A SPECIAL BONUS: A ONE PAGE AD FOR YOUR STORE OR GROUP OR WHATEVER REALLY (so long as it’s within reason)!!!

The Hero Code offered the following:

$30 – *RETAILER REWARD* – x10 copies of the book, 7 standard cover, 2 JR Variant and 1 wrap around variant, plus a button, print and 5 full collections of trader card sets. Retailers can order more than one set.

Great to see the coverage, even if the claims are wrong.

DC Brings Back Letter Columns. We Ask Why?

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DC Comics announced on their Source Blog the return of letter columns to their comic books.

We are pleased to announce the debut of letters pages in all of your favorite DC books. Now you have the chance to ask questions and offer your observations directly to our editors and creators — so write in now and let’s get the conversations going!

Why is DC doing this?

In an interview with Comic Book Resources Dan Didio had this to say:

Well, one of the reasons why we’re doing it is because the fans have been asking for it, to be quite honest with you. We’ve been out there talking to readers at different panels and conventions, and we’ve been getting letters and requests online as well about bringing back the letters pages and bringing back a sense of community to our books. That’s something we considered, and when we were rethinking our books and going to the $2.99 strategy, we wanted to make sure that even though the page count went down to 20 pages for the books themselves, there could still be more content or things people could enjoy in the monthly comics. One of those things we went back to was the letters pages. We looked at it and discussed it in terms of coming up with a formula that made the letters pages feel current. We didn’t want them talking about things that were three or four months old but things that were just coming out. We’re going to be putting a system in place this month to gather information, comments and more to put that sense of community back in our books again.

The reasoning to keep up content even with a lower page content is somewhat acceptable, but still something is “off” to me.  It comes off as a smoke screen where they can claim they’re still giving tons of content for $2.99 and attempt to distract that the page count is down to 20.

Jim Lee in the same interview claims it will help build community and bring back something “special.”  To me it’s filler.  Community isn’t made through a page, community in the 21st century connected world is live interaction with the fans and encouraging them to interact with each other along with comic book creators.

Now, is this even a good idea?

In this age of Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, websites, the idea of a stagnant and outdated letters just doesn’t fly.  People expect 24 hour connection and news and a letter column is antiquated way to interact with the public.  Instead, make this a daily feature to sub-sites for your comic books.  A letter of the day online would do wonders to drive traffic to a website and potentially build word of mouth and community as opposed to one page in the back of a printed book.  It’s a tradition who’s time has passed and needs a 21st century face lift and version.  In their interview it sounds like there may be more than the traditional letter page we know, but I remain skeptical.

Didio addressed the anonymity of the internet as an issue:

And I’ll add one thing too: We’re looking at the letters pages too as a place where everybody uses their real names. We want people out there to be identified so we can see who our fans are. It’s not going to be anonymous because we really want to have that sense of community where people are meeting each other, knowing who they are and enjoying the comics together.

There are methods to force those veils to be lifted online.  Facebook Connect is an example of a tool to force people on the DC websites to identify themselves.  And are there procedures in place to prove these letter writers are who they say they are?  This is a feint to the bigger issue that DC’s online interactive strategy lacks it’s competitors.

This is just a #fail for us the fans on so many levels.

DC New Media Fail

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When it comes to using websites and new media it seems the comic industry is woefully behind.  We’ve been critical and highlighted the numerous failures of some of the companies in their attempts to use these tools to promote their properties and comics.  Last night we had a face to palm moment as a staffer for DC comics attempted to go back and forth on Twitter with another blogger.

When attempting to respond to this tweet from @dcwomenkicknass:

The @DC_Nation tweeter posted this:

But here’s the problem, she asked about a list of bloggers that deal with DC comics, similar to the blog roll we have on our right or the list of publishers.

And that tweet linked to this:

DC BlogThat’s clearly not what she asked for.  It’s a landing page that links to the four blogs DC comics maintains.  That’s fine and dandy, except that page is actually a blog page in itself.  You can tell that by the navigation on the left.  And the header of the post.

It just shows the lack of understanding of websites in using the wrong type page for what you’re trying to accomplish.  Sure it works but so does a shoe to drive in a nail.  I’d rather use a hammer.  How about just a “content page” that makes the point of the page a little clearer?

With a content page you’d also have the ability to style it a little better, kick out the unnecessary left navigation (which adds to the embarrassment by highlighting the one post) and make the point of this page clear.

Here’s a better idea, how about using this blog to highlight important posts from the other four blogs?  Crazy concept, I know.

The whole concept of a blog roll was overlooked (we’ll be adding one soon along with a whole lot of other upgrades) and the question and comment wasn’t answered.  That’s just bad use of new media and yet another example of how DC comics misses the mark when it comes to this vital area of communication.

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