Superhero Marketing


CREDIT: Krispy Kreme Website

Superhero Day began 20 years ago when a group of employees at Marvel Comics (long before it was owned by Disney) decided to don customized caps from and went out to ask people who their superheroes were, and what kind of superhero they’d be if they had super powers.  Every year since then, Superhero Day has grown and although it may not be as widely recognized as Valentine’s Day, it’s very well-known among those who have an interest in superheroes or anime or anything remotely connected to fictional superheroes found in comic books and movies.

PowerCapes (now known as wanted to encourage people across America to be heroes in their home communities, and offered handmade superhero capes for kids and adults that were customized with symbols, initials, and other images.  It only made sense that when Marvel Comics came up with Superhero Day that they would order their capes from PowerCapes, and so they did.

Thus began Superhero Day on April 28, 1995.

Now, Marvel are the creators of such amazing superheroes as the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, Iron Man and Spiderman, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, to name but a few.  Their business is superheroes and supervillains, and the ongoing fight of good versus evil.

Superhero Day, of course, isn’t really about the fight of good versus evil.  It’s actually a celebration of those who are everyday superheroes whether they realize it or not.

The point of all this, on Business Tuesday, is to point out that Krispy Kreme has taken this fun day and turned it into a marketing tool to promote their philanthropy, their brand, and their products (doughnuts and coffee).

What a fantastic marketing concept that builds loyalty while at the same time promoting social conscious and fun!  It’s an annual event that builds upon previous successful Superhero Days, and Krispy Kreme isn’t about to let anything that’s this much fun and this self-esteem building get away from them.

But what makes this marketing approach work for Krispy Kreme is the fact that this isn’t the only entertaining promotion they run during the year.  Just a few months ago, they ran their wildly popular “Talk Like A Pirate” promotion to the delight of tens of thousands of customers in Canada and the United States.  They’ve run a “Halloween” promotion, and a “Day Of Dozens” promotion.  They’ve run a “Daylight Saving” promotion and a “Veterans Day” promotion.  The list goes on and on.

In other words, Krispy Kreme is always looking for ways to reward their customers for patronizing their stores, and Krispy Kreme is always looking for ways to make their promotions memorable and entertaining with a Call-To-Action that makes it easy for everyone to understand.

What this translates into is sales.  People who may not normally be buying  doughnuts that day find themselves compelled to stop by Krispy Kreme and buy doughnuts that day.  Whether it’s one free doughnut for talking like a pirate or getting a second dozen doughnuts at no extra charge to go with the dozen doughnuts you already bought, the marketing and promotions work for Krispy Kreme.

Take a look at your own marketing and ask yourself if your promotions are memorable.  Ask yourself if they’re entertaining.  Ask yourself if the Call-To-Action is easy to follow.  And ask yourself if your promotions would draw you to your business if you were a potential customer or a customer instead of the owner.

Yes, sometimes it’s well worth it to stop long enough to see what other successful businesses are doing with their marketing and promotions, and ask yourself if any part of their marketing and promotion can be adapted to your own business.  Don’t be afraid to be a little outrageous or a tad bit silly.  We all need a break from the seriousness of doing business from time to time.

Your customers will love it.  Potential customers will love it.  And even your staff will love it.

Elyse Bruce


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