Marvel Commands Attention With Bevy of Movie Ads in 2018

Entertainment titan Marvel has had a busy year with three hit films, and a busy promotional cycle to match the major titles.

As Avengers Infinity War is being released on digital platforms this month, and Black Panther continues to take down box office records in North America, we looked at how Marvel has successfully utilized TV and video advertising to engage with its captive audience of moviegoers. 


TV advertising

From Jan. 1 through July 17 of this year, Marvel has spent an estimated $91.4 million running 39 trailers and ads for its films 12,857 times according to, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than 8 million smart TVs. 

This represents 7.18% of the entire movie industry’s TV advertising this year. Marvel spent the most money running ads on NBC, ABC and ESPN, during shows like the 2018 Winter Olympics, Super Bowl LII and the College Football Playoff National Championship.

In total, these ads have generated 5.8 billion TV ad impressions, accounting for 6.76% of the industry’s total TV ad impressions generated during this period. These ads have maintained an Attention Score of 93.17, which means that on average 93.17% of the brand’s TV ads are played across the TV device before changing the channel or tuning out.

Marvel spent this budget advertising three films: Black PantherAvengers: Infinity War and the recently released Ant-Man and the Wasp, and created additional trailers and spots through Super Bowl placements and co-branded promotions with networks like ESPN, TNT and the Disney Channel.

The brand reached a fair split of females and males, dividing the audience almost evenly with the breakdown at 50.09% and 49.91%, respectively. Interestingly, the largest age demo reached with these ads was 35-54, which represented 36.5% of the viewing audience.


Online Trailers

Marvel’s trailers also found success through online video platforms. Looking at data from Tubular Labs from Jan. 1 through July 17, Marvel earned 574 million views and 8.4 million engagements with its videos on YouTube alone. Tubular Labs measures social video intelligence across popular video platforms.

Marvel’s top trailer was its Avengers: Infinity War spot, which debuted on March 16. The video has generated 84.5 million views this year, and importantly, has a V3 score of 38.8 million. Tubular Labs’ V3 score measures views in a video’s first three days, allowing easier comparison of videos published for different stretches of time.

The top 10 videos from Marvel this year, according to V3 are below. The top nine were all related to film marketing (note: all view totals are as of July 17).

  1. Avengers: Infinity War Official Trailer (Date: March 16)V3: 38.8 millionTotal views: 84.5 million
  2. Avengers: Infinity War Big Game Spot (Date: Feb. 2)V3: 17.9 millionTotal views: 36 million
  3. Ant-Man and the Wasp Official Trailer #2 (Date: May 1)V3: 14.8 millionTotal views: 25.1 million
  4. Ant-Man and the Wasp Official Trailer #1 (Date: Jan. 30)V3: 8.4 millionTotal views: 15.2 million
  5. Avengers: Infinity War Chant (Date: April 7)V3: 5.3 millionTotal views: 9 million (Date: March 27)
  6. Avengers: Infinity War All Of Them (Date: March 27)V3: 2.3 millionTotal views: 3.1 million
  7. Avengers: Infinity War Gone (Date: March 29)V3: 2.3 millionTotal views: 2.8 million
  8. Black Panthers Rise (Date: Jan. 9)V3: 2 millionTotal views: 3.5 million
  9. Avengers: Infinity War Family Featurette (Date: April 11)V3: 1.9 millionTotal views: 3.1 million
  10. The Return of the Fantastic Four (Date: April 19)V3: 1.6 millionTotal views: 2.4 million


Disney spending at large

Walt Disney Studios, the parent brand of entertainment heavyweights Marvel and Lucasfilm, has spent an estimated $201.7 million in 2018 advertising its movie slate across properties from Jan. 1-July 17, according to

Through 33,203 airings, Walt Disney Studios accounted for 15.83% of the entire movie industry’s TV advertising during this period. In terms of TV ad impressions, Walt Disney Studios trailers have generated 14.3 billion TV ad impressions this year, accounting for 16.55% of movie trailers TV ad impressions in 2018.

Marvel generated the most TV impressions of any Walt Disney Studios property's movie trailers, with 5.8 billion in total. Walt Disney Pictures was second at 3.4 billion, followed by Disney Pixar (2.8 million), LucasFilm (2.2 billion) and Walt Disney Animation (12.3 million). 

John Cassillo is an analyst and contributor with TV[R]EV.