Comic-Con has converted the entire downtown San Diego into a branded frenzy. There are some memorable building front transformations, and then there’s head-scratching advertising running amok around the Gaslamp District.

The Bad:


Comic books only mean superheroes, right? The corporate superheroes were abundant and roaming the streets of San Diego. It was pretty hard to distinguish corporate brands from comic book fans dressed in the same fare. I say tap in to your creative tank and do something a little more original to stand out from the rest (maybe an alien costume with a giant head?).


Urinal ads

OUYA decided that you had to see their brand while you relieve yourself. Yep, they unleashed a urinal ad (much like the marketing urinal cakes from I Love You, Man). What are they selling exactly? I’m not sure either, but I’m guessing it involves something with your hands. I’ll just leave this here.


The Awesome:

Who is Red Reddington?

Outside the convention was just as exciting as inside. New NBC show, The Blacklist, generated almost a roaring buzz with a mysterious building with the words, “Who is Red Reddington?” plastered on the front. Inside the “heavily” secured building (those “Blacklist” security guards meant business), visitors encountered a life-sized hologram of Raymond “Red” Reddington speaking directly to you. What would have taken this to the next level? If visitors to the building were able to share their speculations of “Red Reddington” via social media inside the building itself to keep the conversations going.


Cereal Bar

TBS converted the Michael J. Wolf Gallery on 5th Avenue to host the very first cereal bar at Comic-Con. King of the Nerds offered fans their favorite cereal, play retro video games and win prizes. With over 32 types of cereals, various milks and toppings, the cereal bar offered a place to relax away from the costumed chaos that is Comic-Con. Free food and games? A Con attendee’s paradise. Now if only they added a sharing feature where visitors can digitally blast out their favorite cereal combination or their high scores on one of the retro games…



Marketers took full advantage of the potential tired feet of Comic-Con attendees. Downtown pedicabs were transformed into mobile ads where attendees can grab a brisk ride around downtown while sitting next to a plastic Archer character or sit upon the iron throne of Game of Thrones. With this year being the year of the selfie, I’m surprised marketers didn’t provide a digital photobooth type of feature on the pedicab or launch a hashtag campaign to promote these cool, decked out rickshaws.

Saw any cool or terrible advertising at San Diego Comic-Con? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.