Secret Invasion’s Skrulls and a case of advertising that seriously missed the mark

In a new media landscape dominated by digital platforms and social networks, traditional advertising strategies often struggle to capture the attention of audiences. However, a recent promotional stunt involving Skrulls, the green aliens from Marvel’s ‘Secret Invasion,’ has completely missed the mark.

Social media users have taken notice of the Skrulls making appearances in the background of various news programs, particularly those affiliated with ABC, which is owned by Disney.

The show ‘Secret Invasion’ revolves around Nick Fury, who discovers a clandestine invasion of Earth by a faction of shapeshifting Skrulls. Teaming up with his allies, Fury embarks on a race against time to thwart the imminent Skrull invasion and safeguard humanity.

While it is worth mentioning that these Skrull sightings have occurred exclusively on Disney-affiliated channels, it raises the question of whom Disney is targeting with this unique marketing approach. Interestingly, statistics reveal that less than 10% of Marvel consumers belong to Generation Z, with the franchise predominantly resonating with millennials.

The viewership of Marvel projects shows a near equal split between genders, indicating a broad appeal across demographics. However, the changing landscape of news consumption deserves attention.

According to a survey conducted in the United States in August 2022, social media emerged as the most popular news source among millennials, with 45% of respondents reporting daily news consumption through social networks. This surpassed the number of individuals relying on radio for their news. Despite its popularity, social media struggles to gain trust as a reliable news source.

As adults of all ages spend increasing amounts of time on social media, it is likely that news consumption through these platforms will continue to rise. However, the issue of effective marketing is a glaring one because none of the actual demographic of the local news would care of Skrulls let alone connect them to a marvel project over garden variety conspiracies.

Furthermore, Gen Z and millennials consume news from a diverse range of sources, including traditional national and local news outlets such as newspapers, TV news stations, and their respective websites or apps. This indicates a niche down approach, where a group is following a particular interest through a range of sources, none of which are weird morning news featuring PR stunts.

Turning our attention back to the Skrull promotion, it is natural to find a mixture of reactions among viewers. Some express excitement and find the campaign intriguing, while others criticize the blending of advertising with informative content. Concerns about ethical implications arise, with comparisons drawn to potential scenarios where sensitive news events could be exploited for promotional purposes.


However, it is essential to remember that  sometimes entertainment and advertising industries aim to provoke discussions to generate buzz around their products. The Skrull invasion promotion certainly achieves that with their misguided attempt at marketing.

Barbie movie is an example of doing it right. While the movie has a different demographic they successfully captured an imagination of the entire generation with a house revamp that was done without much fanfare.

Following a brief investigation we managed to confirm that this is the same house that was previously redone to generate publicity for a previous Barbie product and subsequently airbnb-ed out. This revamped edition of the mega mansion complete with a slide and a great visual is rumored to be available on airbnb starting sometime next month.

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