The Avengers’ best superpower might be merchandising

Marketplace Contributor May 4, 2015
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The Avengers’ best superpower might be merchandising

Marketplace Contributor May 4, 2015
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Sales of “Avengers” merchandise lept from $325 million in 2013 to over $1 billion in 2014. Marketing licensed products to adults is responsible for a big chunk of that.

There’s everything from Gamma-ray-blasted Greek yogurt from Chobani to the Hulk’s cologne that smells like sandalwood, dry musk, and warm cedar. And there are collaborations with brands like Under Armour and Forever 21.

Four Five released a collection incorporating subtle elements inspired by Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Think of it as “geek couture.” For women, there’s the “Her Universe” collection with the Thor sailor dress, the Captain America halter dress, and the Black Widow belted jacket.

But why has the the “Avengers” brand been so successful in making the jump to mainstream culture?

“What a brand has to do is, they have to strike a chord in the brain of the buyers they’re targeting,” explains explains Ira Kalb, assistant professor of clinical marketing at the Marshall School of Business at USC. “Marvel characters already have that.”

And the push is worldwide. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is the most-marketed movie ever in India. If you’re in a Subway in Mumbai, you can stop in for the Double Aloo Melt, one of the signature “Avengers” sandwiches currently available.

Along with kids and parents, there are now teens, 20-somethings, and working professionals from Beijing to Berlin buying “Avengers” products. With the Avengers franchise bringing together the characters of Marvel’s other hit movies, the sun never sets on the empire.

The next two sequels are already scheduled for release in 2018 and 2019. Disney and Marvel are betting big on the continued global demand for all things Avengers, like pint glasses, ice cube trays, coffee mugs, water bottles, combat boots, canvas slip-ons, Gillette razors, Peavey guitar straps, waffle makers, iPhone covers and so much more.

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