- Mercedes-Benz is the automobile sponsor for the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film "Justice League," which hits theaters on Nov. 17, per a press release. The cars featured in the film include the E-Class Cabriolet, the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo, and the G-Class 4x42.
- Six digital comic stories focused on the private lives of the film's characters were created with DC's Custom Creative Studio to be released exclusively on Mercedes-Benz's Instagram channels. The first will debut on Oct. 20, quickly followed by the remaining stories.
- A TV commercial debuts on Oct. 6 while a "making of" video is already available on YouTube, highlighting the effort that went into preparing the Mercedes-Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo for its film debut. The campaign also includes print, online and OOH advertising.
Carmakers have long made getting their vehicles onscreen a marketing goal. One recent example is Ford’s brand partnership with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” which was released this spring. That campaign also included a digital comic with an extremely limited print run.
What's interesting about the Mercedes-Benz effort is that it worked closely with DC's custom content team in the latest example of brands getting cozier than ever with Hollywood writers. This trend is growing as marketers' content strategies continue to expand in an attempt to connect with younger consumers who aren't interested in traditional ads. The fact that the Justice League comics are appearing on Instagram underscores the platform's growing appeal to marketers as its audience grows. A visually-driven format like a digital comic is particularly well-suited to Instagram.
It will be interesting to see if Warner Bros. repeats the marketing strategy it used for "Wonder Woman" earlier this year, which was light on traditional tactics like trailers and promotional videos but went heavy on social media and offbeat merchandising. The rollout also included Facebook augmented reality camera masks and branded Snapchat filters along with a 16-bit in-app game. That film is one of the biggest box office successes so far this year.