When people talk about the “Comic-Con Effect,” usually, they mean it terms of movies getting a big boost from their high-profile appearance at the San Diego convention. In fact, here’s an article from Deadline asking whether or not the movies that get all the buzz at the convention actually benefit from it in the theaters. That’s not how I see the Comic-Con Effect.
Comic-Con’s influence on pop culture goes far beyond the convention itself, far beyond comic books, television or film. That said, the actual Comic-Con Effect is when the sort of big-budget marketing techniques that overrun the convention seep into other industries, other events.
That happened last night at Coachella. I wasn’t there. Ultimately, I’m glad I wasn’t there because I detest the desert. For a moment, though, I felt a pang of remorse when a friend shared a video of the video that played on one of the big screens in the middle of a polo field. A trailer for the new Daft Punk album had been unveiled. Even back in L.A., watching a video of a video on YouTube, I couldn’t help but totally nerd out.
I go to San Diego Comic-Con every year. Although I no longer go to Coachella, I’ve been to the event so many times that I can’t remember who I saw which year. They are very different events. At Comic-Con, you wait for hours to get a chair in a room so that you and a couple thousand other people can start screaming over a new trailer or other teaser footage. At Coachella, you wait in line for hours so that your skin can fry while you’re running to catch favorite bands who will always be playing up against each other on opposite sides of the field.
But then Daft Punk– arguably the nerdiest duo to ever make dance music– changed that. They captured the crowd in Indio and online with a trailer. A freakin’ trailer.
That’s the Comic-Con Effect in action.
I’m a pretty big Daft Punk fan. If you read my webcomic, Los Animales, you probably know that. Every time Daft Punk pulls a new stunt, I love them more. After seeing the video of last night’s trailer, I’m more excited for Random Access Memories than I thought I could be and it’s not solely because of the music. The only way the music industry can thrive in this era is if they borrow the marketing techniques of the fan convention world. Daft Punk obviously knows that and, for that reason, Radom Access Memories deserves to be a blockbuster. Daft Punk knows the future of music marketing and it’s up to them to show others the way.