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Product Placement meets Content Marketing meets Creative PR

Product Placement meets Content Marketing meets Creative PR

Even the venerable NPR can be a sucker for a good marketing story every once in a while.  And DC Comics scored big time.  It’s creative PR.

Adding Real Science to Science Fiction

Remember that James Bond movie where James jumps off a cliff after a plane, gets inside it and flies safely away?  I was taking a college physics class then, and leaned over to my buddy to let him know because of friction, that scene was, well, impossible according to the laws of physics.

I thought I was smart.  My buddy thought I was ruining a good scene.

DC Comics made sure that no one will ruin the storyline of their latest comic book, where Superman, watches his home world of Krypton, disintegrate.

The comic book-maker enlisted the services of a real astrophysicist — Neil deGrasse Tyson of the Hayden Planetarium — to help add color to the details.  For example,  “instead of just making up the story of Superman seeing Krypton, he could help them ground it in at least some actual science.”

NPR pointed to this example:

“While it’s impossible to see planets that far away, you can see stars, so Tyson picked out a real, existing, actual red star — its name is LHS 2520, if you would like to send it a congratulatory note — to serve as the star around which Krypton orbits.”

What is the product placement?

Both Tyson and Hayden Planetarium are getting a product placement in DC Comics. Tyson’s product is his knowledge and since Hayden gets some of its funding from NASA, the springboard DC Comics has provided it’s worth its weight in gold.

What’s the content marketing piece?

LHS 2520 is the name of a real star Tyson picked out to help develop the story.  It meets all of the physics requirements that make the story feasible, but it’s also, in the comic strip, the star around which the fictional Krypton orbits.  Tyson could have written a blog post about LHS 2520, but comic strip is so much more creative, and it fits the DC Comics audience.

The PR part is Simple

It’s good coverage by NPR.  It’s a very creative story and a compelling use of content. As I drove past NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center this morning while listening to this story, I wondered how many NASA employees were doing the same thing.

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Photo credit: Unsplash

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3 Responses

  1. Your own creativity is over the top today, Frank! I kinda actually enjoyed reading this and see your wheels spin even though I didn’t quite follow the plot line with comics and NPR (but I kinda did). So, I’m loving whatchusaid.
    And, I have to ask “designigrate” — that one of your creative words? Cuz if it is (and ain’t a typo), then I’m all over that word. Coin. It.

    1. @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Well, thanks?  Sort of?  The point is DC Comics could have made the whole thing up because comic books are fiction.  But they didn’t — they partnered with real scientist and used real data to support a comic book story.  That’s smart marketing for both parties.  
      As for the typo, that’s the result of trying to publish at 11 p.m. at night.  I can sleep and let my blog go untended, or I can stay up, publish and accept the fact it won’t be perfect.

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