Attracting and keeping an audience who loves you is something films, TV, books, and games are great at doing. The existence of Comic Con is testimony to this. Comic Con (and other pop culture conventions) has become an international set of events run by a few different groups across the globe. With the biggest being San Diego Comic Con. Oz Comic Con has also grown over the years from its inauguration in 2012. These events and the media content displayed within them have cult like followings and can teach valuable lessons about gaining and keeping an audience.
Know your Audience
While growing and establishing your audience knowing who your audience is key when coming up with ways to innovate and refresh your brand without accidentally alienating your existing audience. When the BBC revived Doctor Who in 2005 they set the romantic standard for future doctors; knowingly or not. This frustrated many viewers. And Peter Capaldi’s doctor has returned to the ways of Classic Who, by not having a romantic interest.
In the age of Netflix and binge watching creators have more choice whether their content is consumed all at once or if they are going to make you wait a week between cliff-hangers. BBC’s Sherlock has an approximate two year hiatuses between series. Of course actors get busy and hour and a half episodes take time to make; but not everyone will wait for your content forever. So if you are going to take your time creating your content it has to be some of the best available.
Time may be money but quality is key. It’s important for all aspects of your content to be at the same standard. For instance Sharknado would not have been hilariously bad if the animation or script had been Oscar worthy. And despite it’s amazing soundtrack Guardians of the Galaxy would not have been a hit without it’s humour and visual beauty.
Old content shouldn’t out perform the new. While having something that did well upon release this sets a challenge for any future content to be bigger and better. While this is not a bad thing in itself, failure to meet previous standards can result in being ripped apart by the Internet. The recent Star Trek reboots have come under much scrutiny for not living up to the message of hope of its predecessors. Despite the much better CG and other technological advances.
People line up for hours at conventions around the world to see their favourite stars, get autographs, dress up, and buy merchandise. Without these loyal fans Comic Con could not exist. And neither could the pop culture that makes appearances within the convention centre walls. TV, movies, and books are all competing for the love of their audience and many franchises have mastered how to gain and keep an audience.
San Diego Comic Con 2018: July 19-22
Oz Comic Con 2018:
Melbourne: June 9-10
Brisbane: September 22-23
Sydney: September 29-30