How Superheros Get More Awesome

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I saw this yesterday and could not help writing about it.  This video has essentially restored my faith in the world.

In case you’re going to watch the video later, here’s the short version.  A mother was having a difficult time getting her son to wear a hearing aid.  The son said that superheros don’t wear them, so she emailed Marvel Comics looking for some semblance of a Superhero with a hearing aid.  Marvel sent her a picture of Hawkeye, who only had 20% of his hearing and used hearing aids.  In addition, they sent her son, Anthony, a one-of-a-kind drawing of “Blue Ear,” a superhero modeled after Anthony.  Now, Anthony is wearing hearing aids and will never look at them the same way again.

the-blue-ear1

This image is from Fox 43 Central Pennsylvania

Marvel wasn’t required to do this – they didn’t look at the boy and say, “Wow, what a great marketing opportunity.”  They saw a need and knew they could help.  They created that sketch, something that probably took one of their artists an hour, and changed Anthony’s life forever.  This is what makes Marvel a great company.  Yes, they make awesome Superhero movies and comic books, but it’s actions like this that build brands.  This one action has more power to build relationships with customers than 100 Captain America movies.  Honestly, isn’t this what being a Superhero is really about?  Look at X Men, they all have something about them that differentiates them.  Because Marvel took action, Anthony will never look at his disability the same again.

When you’re a great company, that does great things like this, other people tell your story for you.  While watching the Super Bowl last weekend, I noticed a lot of Budweiser commercials.  (The Puppy Love commercial is amazing.)  One thing that made me take a step back was the Hero’s Welcome commercial.  It was a beautiful commercial, but it was Budweiser saying, “Look at this awesome thing we did.”  Instead of allowing others to generate the attention for them.  Their actions were amazing and very meaningful to that individual and his hometown, but that’s what makes people want to talk about it.  Let your customers talk for you.  Marvel didn’t create Blue Ear for the press coverage, or for their own ad campaign.  If you do good things and create great content, people will share it for you, and that’s the best marketing available.

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