Four Tips For GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY's Marketing Team

Yesterday, many fans of Guardians of the Galaxy, from all over the world, waited patiently (and some impatiently) to get their first "official" glimpse at footage from the upcoming Guardians film. According to certain websites, a TV spot for the film had been purchased by Disney (who owns Marvel) and would be shown during Super Bowl XLVIII. Obviously, no such footage was shown (since if it was, we'd all be watching it on repeat until our eyes started bleeding). Nonetheless, reading all of the disappointed tweets authored by my poor fellow Galaxians (yes, I'm still trying to make that phrase happen) got me thinking. When we do get our first glimpse at Guardians of the Galaxy, what will it look like?

"That raccoon looks awesome!"
I mean, Marvel Studios has done a tremendous job marketing their films to the general public, but how do you advertise a movie involving a talking raccoon and a talking tree as superheroes, without alienating fans of more "mainstream" concepts? Read my tips, after the jump!

1. Immediately Connect It To The Marvel Cinematic Universe

This one might just be the most important. People love Iron Man. People love Thor. People love Captain America. You get the idea. Before any footage of 'The Guardians' is shown, show footage of Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. Let the people know they are about to embark on the next big Marvel Studios adventure. You could even have a voiceover saying, "From the studio that introduced you to The Avengers..." during the introductory footage.

"Look at that much superior team in space..."
Guardians of the Galaxy needs something to immediately separate it from every other sci-fi movie. As bad as it sounds, the general public need to know this isn't some cheesy idea hatched by some misled hack writer. It is, in fact, a MARVEL STUDIOS film. After showcasing each Avenger, we can now be introduced to our "new" team. Which leads me to my next point...

2. Introduce Rocket Raccoon and Groot First
Some people may disagree with me on this, but Rocket Raccoon is going to be the thing people remember most about this movie. Many people may even call it 'that movie with the talking raccoon in space.' That's okay. The general public can handle a talking raccoon. Just so long as you address it in the right way; that is with humor.

Back to the imaginary trailer: We've just seen shots of Iron Man, Thor, Cap, and Hulk in action and looking really tough. Also, the voice-over guy has just said "From the studio that introduced you to The Avengers...". Quickly, the screen cuts to black. The voice-over continues, "...comes an all-new league of superhero." At this point, people don't know what to expect. 

"Awww...they're so cu...OMG, the raccoon just shot that guy!"

Then we see Rocket Raccoon standing on Groot's shoulder. Suddenly, Rocket pulls out a large gun and looks at Groot, who looks back at him. Rocket says something like "I'm ready if you are." Groot looks up and says "I Am Groot". Then we see Rocket and Groot bust out of the ground/sewer, just like in the Comic-Con trailer. Rocket starts firing off shots at the bad guys, while Groot smashes a few guards into the ground. At this point, Groot and Rocket don't look so cute anymore. In fact, now they seem like they could do some real damage.

The reason this works is because Marvel is immediately addressing how ridiculous the concept seems at first glance. I mean, the two characters look kind of cutesy, and people laugh at the idea that these guys are being compared to The Avengers. That's okay, because people are laughing with Marvel, not at them. Then we quickly transition into the "not cutesy" version of the duo, and we see how tough and rugged the two characters can be. Which leads me to my next point...

3. Show Plenty Of Action
People need to know that Guardians of the Galaxy is not a comedy. Sure, there will be plenty of jokes and laughs, but the general audience want to know that they are in for a thrill ride. The Comic-Con footage did a great job showcasing both of the comedy and the action, so something similar to that would suffice. Personally, I loved the montage of all the action, mixed with the epic cinematic version of 'Hooked On A Feeling.' It really gets the blood pumping.

"We want action!"

The reason that this is so important is that we need teens and adults to be interested in the property, as well as kids. Remember how great the action in The Avengers was? We need to see something that rivals the Chitauri invasion in pure awesomeness.

4. Star Power
If Guardians of the Galaxy is lacking one thing, it is not star power. Zoe Saldaña starred in the top-grossing movie of all time, Avatar, and Bradley Cooper is one of biggest stars in Hollywood right now. Not to mention, Vin Diesel, John C. Reilly, and Glenn Close are all household names. With a cast like that, you really can't not advertise the cast.

Separated at birth?

People must know that Bradley Cooper is Rocket Raccoon and Vin Diesel is Groot. If the general public doesn't know this by the time the film is released, Marvel's marketing team has really dropped the ball on this one.

That's all, Galaxians!
I want to hear from all of you! Drop a comment below and let me know what you thought of this article, or how you think Marvel should advertise Guardians of the Galaxy!


  1. Great article. And I do believe I agree with all of it. My problem is that it almost seems like Marvel doesn't completely believe in the Guardians of the Galaxy. If they do not believe in it, the mainstream never will.

    1. I think Marvel believes in GotG. They are just trying to promote Captain America: The Winter Soldier right now. Hopefully, they don't screw up the marketing of GotG.

  2. Also, give it like a 5-minute preview to be shown in front of select 3D screenings of "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" like how you did with showing a 5-minute preview for "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" in front of 3D screenings of "Thor: The Dark World".

    1. Good idea! Didn't even think about that.

  3. The general public is a bit unaware of this film.

    I mean, for pity's sake, in DECEMBER, people were still asking why Karen Gillan shaved her head! She revealed it in July, and folks were still asking around the holidays.

    They need to get the word out soon.

    But then again..."Frozen" had very little publicity before it came out in theaters. And the ads they had weren't all that great. Look how big that got.

    Maybe they're doing a less-is-more approach, when it comes to advertising.

    1. That's very true. I think sometimes people like that they are going in with little knowledge of what to expect, but I'm not sure Guardians of the Galaxy will have as much built-in fanbase as a Disney Princess movie would. We'll see!

  4. These are all great ideas, Cameron. I can only pray that Marvel/Disney love this team as much as we do.

    I still say they should do as you recommended (show Rocket kicking major ass), them have him look into into camera and give a snarky "Blam. Murdered you." I know I'm in the minority, but I think that phrase has potential,.especially in a movie.

    1. I'm just thankful to Marvel that they are giving the Guardians a chance to shine on the big screen. If this movie is successful, who knows what other cosmic characters we may see on the big screen!

  5. I really hope that Marvel will be able to take this movie and make the villains actually be a threat to the WHOLE universe. That is the one thing I disliked about the Avengers. I never really felt anything was in danger aside from New York.


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