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Friday, June 14, 2013

It’s A Bird! It’s A Plane! It’s A Marketing Campaign!

"Man of Steel" stars Henry Cavill as Superman. (Warner Bros.)

“Man of Steel” stars Henry Cavill as Superman. (Warner Bros.)

The latest reboot of the Superman movie, Man of Steel, opens today. It’s setting records already for promotional support — the amount of money companies trying to promote their products pay to the movie producers.

John Carroll, a mass communications professor at Boston University, says The Lorax set records when it had 70 promotional partners, but Man of Steel beats that record with roughly 100 promotional partners.

Too much promotion could be detrimental to the movie, Carroll said.

“One problem here is campaign fatigue — this is just everywhere,” Carroll told Here & Now. “We’ll see how it wears out over time.”

Even though Superman is being heavily used as a marketing tool in Man of Steel the move, the Superman it portrays is much grittier and angrier than we’ve seen before.

But Superman is no stranger to being made over. In the 75 years since he was invented, he’s gone through transformations for TV, comic books and movies.

Linda Holmes, host of NPR’s pop culture blog “Monkey See,” thinks that even though Superman is very different in this movie, it won’t be that much of a shock to devotees of the comic book.

“Comic book lovers are more accustomed to seeing different things done with a character like this,” Holmes told Here & Now. “But they are very protective of certain things. I think some people will be disappointed that this movie doesn’t have the kind of humor that Superman has had.”


  • John Carroll, professor of mass communications at Boston University.
  • Linda Holmes, writes NPR’s pop culture blog Monkey See.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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