I recently came across an article in Ad Age where BBDO, the most awarded advertising agency and the second largest global advertising network and Marvel will collaborate on creating a new custom comic book. This stirred up the kid in me. I don’t know about you, but I thought comic books were a distant vintage memory. It’s good to see that they are becoming relevant again. This new project is an initiative spearheaded by BBDO’S diversity council. Ad Age informs us that the comic book titled Avengers: Heroes Welcome is aimed at kids through the New York’s Police Athletic League. The book’s main character Nova, ponders the purpose of heroes in a worlds filled with controversy. Nova meets notable and recognizable legends like Iron Man and Thor and others for advice.
I particularly am a fan of this kind of initiative because it’s refreshing to have a revolutionary take on an issue such as diversity; whether it is in the workplace or at school. The comic book was one of the first ideas from BBDO and it comes at a great time, seeing that Marvel is about to celebrate it’s 75th anniversary. So certainly a thing like this did not spring up overnight. It has been in the works since 2006. It’s preliminary goal you ask? BBDO’s Diversity Council wanted to promote acceptance across the agency’s culture, business practices and more. BBDO New York President-CEO John Osborn, who founded the council said It’s not a black or white thing. “It’s totally about acceptance and inclusion and it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the right thing for our business.” JD Michaels the senior Vice President of tactile production and creative engineering said that the project was put on hold due to crisis in the economy but they have remained focused and they didn’t give up on it. To add more diversity to the pot Michael says, “I’m African American, and when I was a kid, many of the stories I read about Marvel Heroes helped me. “They were regular people but had super powers and went through all the things I went through.”
When I used to read comics and comic books, it was all in the message and you knew that you were going to get something out of it, sometimes more subliminally than not. I am excited about this idea between this cool collaboration. The first completed comic book is one of four and is a tale written from eight years ago. I guess we will see how interestingly enough it will be relevant to times now. Michael’s also adds that, “the relevance of a comic book that talked to kids about gender and race before the Obama Presidency was one world. Today’s world is a little different. Culture has shifted and we wanted to make sure this effort was less defensive and more inspirational.” I could not agree more with the intent. This generation needs to be inspired.
The story is still being followed but I thought I’d share how advertising agencies are thinking outside of the box. And for me its also refreshing that comics is getting a comeback both in print and online. I love The Avengers and these things brings me back to childhood memories. Some things that you experienced as a child, sometimes you don’t want other generations to miss out. Ad Age also talks about Hollywood has given The Avengers more buzz by creating more motion pictures illustrating these characters. I like that these characters are coming to life and not only that but coming with a message.
Diaz, Ann-Christine (2014, May, 22) BBDO TEAMS WITH MARVEL ON NEW AVENGERS COMIC BOOK: ‘Heroes Welcome is Latest in Agency’s Diversity Initiatives’ retrieved from adage.com