This week, Comic-Con will again invade San Diego and flood the city’s Gaslamp District with as much pop culture fanaticism as can be had over the course of four days.
And since the convention has become the year’s most standout, premiere destination for memorable experiential marketing, we can’t wait to see what kind of immersive activations are in store for superfans.
All panels aside, here are some of the coolest on-the-ground happenings we’ve heard about and can’t wait to check out for ourselves.
“Vikings”’ Ragnar Lothbrok is dead. To pay respect to the beloved character, HISTORY is planning an authentic Viking funeral in the San Diego Harbor, complete with custom-built longship that will actually be set on fire. The activation will be “a really powerful way to set the stage for what will happen this season,” according to Dan Bragg, senior vice president of marketing for A&E, History and Lifetime.
An additional on-the-ground activation at the Warrior’s Allegiance Booth invites con attendees to deck themselves out in medieval garb and create a custom video that can be shared on social media. A limited edition “Vikings” comic book, created by Michael Hirst exclusively for SDCC, will also be available for fans.
Last year at Comic-Con, USA’s “Mr. Robot” VR experience impressed fans by simultaneously telling a self-contained story while also elaborating on the show’s existing backstory. The creators behind the memorable activation are back this year to launch a new virtual reality experience that allows viewers to see through the eyes of the main character of FX and Marvel’s “X-Men” universe show “Legion,” David Haller (Dan Stevens), a diagnosed schizophrenic who learns that he is actually a superpowered mutant.
“Sessions: The Legion Mixed Reality Experience” is a 10-minute piece in which fans will become a part of scenes from the first season of the show, and even catch a glimpse of the upcoming second season. “Sessions” is included in the network’s FXhibition 2017, a massive interactive installation near the San Diego Convention Center that will also feature activations based on FX’s other series with major fan followings, like “American Horror Story,” “Atlanta,” and “The Strain.”
USA’s “Mr. Robot”
There’s no “Mr. Robot” panel, but there will still be a presence for the show at this year’s SDCC. The brand is boasting an off-color “experience” in align with the series’ hacker narrative. From from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 20 through Saturday, July 22 , or from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 23, fans can stop by E Corp’s Bank of E (327 4th Avenue between J Street and Island Avenue) to receive their own E Corp card, loaded with E Coin cryptocurrency.
The E Corp card, which can also be opened online at www.e-coin.com, can be used throughout San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter for food, drinks and other surprises at participating retailers (see below). Best of all? You can also visit the show’s infamous Red Wheelbarrow BBQ, located next door to the Bank of E, and present your E Corp card for a BBQ meal.
The E Corp card can be used for freebies at the following locations:
- Rustic Meatballs
- The New Yorker Pizzeria
- Food Shop
- Gaslamp Pizza
- Chocolat Cremerie
- Burger Lounge
- My Yogurt/Dough Pretzel
- Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop
- Pizza on 5th
- Hot Dog Bar
- Cute Cakes
- Simon Says Coffee
- Big Thyme Sandwich
- Premier Hot Dog
- Cat Café
- Berkeley Pizza
- Brooklyn Bagel
- Blind Burro
- Crunch Time Popcorn and Kim’s Creamery
- Ciro’s Pizzeria
- Lolita’s at the Park
Amazon’s “The Tick”
Amazon’s reboot of “The Tick” is set to launch next month and the streaming service is drumming up buzz for the premiere in a really big way. A 20-foot animatronic version of the blue hero’s head will be making a gas at this year’s SDCC. From inside Amazon’s “House of Bezos” lounge, fans will be able to use controls to bring the giant Tick to life. Located at 1st along the Martin Luther King Promenade, the House of Bezos lounge serves as a replica of the warehouse and other locations from “The Tick” series. The activation also includes a scavenger hunt, custom swag, unique photo takeaways and a place to relax or charge your phone.
NBC’s “Midnight, Texas”
“Midnight, Texas,” the new vampire series from Universal, will be taking over Gaslamp Square.
A full sensory experience, the “Midnight, Texas” activation features the town from the new show, including the Pawn Shop, Fiji’s house, Tattoo Parlor, Olivia’s Armory and a pet cemetery. The square’s Tin Fish restaurant will transform into Home Cooking, the eatery featured in the series, with live tarot card readings taking place inside.
Town visitors have the option to receive a motion graphic photo branding them as “outsiders,” (the show’s tagline is “only outsiders fit in”), and play around with four Snapchat filters and hidden Snapcodes to unlock custom videos, content pieces and games.
The Netflix Experience
The Netflix Experience is coming to the Hilton Gaslamp. Stop by from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday, or from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, for sneak peeks of upcoming originals, exclusive giveaways, and more. You’ll also be able to visit the virtual [reality] Upside Down with “Stranger Things,” get immersed into the world of “Bright,” and head to the streets of New York with “Marvel’s The Defenders.”
HBO’s Game of Thrones
Winter is coming to San Diego.
Last year, HBO treated GoT fans to a “Hall of Faces” off-site activation. This year, they’re returning to the same address (628 L Street — across from the Omni Hotel) for the “Winter Is Here” experience.
Fans attending this immersive experience will enter through a “winterized” entryway, and be registered with their own “Dragonglass” RFID wristband that captures touch points throughout the journey of the activation, producing personalized links with easily shareable pieces of content.
The journey will take fans through Winterfell, Dragonstone, King’s Landing, and North of the Wall. And each guest who travels through gets a custom SDCC Night King Funko Pop! Figure, a t-shirt featuring the Night King key art, and an exclusive Robert Ball Episode 701 mini-poster.
Information for this entry came from PromaxBDA’s Daily Brief, The Verge, SDCC Blog, and Fandom.com.