News, Notes & Commentary on the world of HRTS

Guy Slattery, A&E Networks at Comic Con

Guy Slattery is EVP of Marketing at A&E Networks.

Three months ago I interviewed David McKillop of A&E and we talked about branding. Three weeks ago I interviewed Guy at a branded event at Comic-Con and I asked:

Q: What is the marketing value of Comic-Con overall?
A: it’s become the mecca for pop culture in America and around the world.  Nearly every big movie, every big TV show, all the franchises are here to some degree or another. You get the most engaged entertainment fans all in one place.  These are people who are really enthusiastic and passionate about our shows, they’re our core audience and that’s why we’re here.   It has also become the biggest press event on the calendar for the entertainment industry, just look at the coverage it generates.

Q: Your largest promotional presence is themed around Bates Motel, why that show specifically?
A: Bates Motel was born out of Psycho, it’s a pre-existing brand so it fits perfectly because Comic-Con is a celebration of popular culture and Bates Motel is an iconic image in American pop culture and has been for over 50 years. One of our executive producers, Carlton Cuse, was also the executive producer of Lost. He is much loved by Comic-Con attendees, so that helped drive our decision too.

Q: What is the value of this particular event tonight?
A: When you come to Comic-Con, there’s a few things you want to do. You want to be on the convention floor, and appeal directly to all of the fans. We are there this year, we have a taxidermy booth on the floor where fans can sit down and pretend to be Norman Bates and get their picture taken and then blast it out across social media so that gives us a lot of reach with people who didn’t get to make it. You also want to do a panel, where you get the really hardcore fans, who queue up from the morning just to get in and ask a question. And I think you also want to do a party, Comic-Con has become a place where the big brands and the big shows do big parties.  Celebrities really drive press coverage and if you can have a celebrity filled party it also helps expand the reach of your presence here. 

Q: What would you say to other HRTS members who might be considering an expanded Comic-Con presence?
A: If you’re in the entertainment business and you have a show with the right pop culture sensibility, you should be here. Not the most high-brow stuff, not the indie film crowd.  If it’s for people who really enjoy mainstream entertainment, the big TV shows, the big movies, then you have to be at Comic-Con.  The press are here, the fans are here, and these are the very active, social fans. So you can come to one place, it might be in San Diego, but while you’re here you can make a big impact, nationally and globally.


Chris Davison

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