Man Of Shill: How Superman Promotes Products (By Punching Them)

man of steel publicity still

When the first image of Superman appeared for Man of Steel, Zack Snyder’s Krypton-to-Earth punch-a-thon, viewers originally assumed that the picture showed Superman emerging from a bank vault, or maybe picking himself up from an extremely motivated punch.

But now we know that Superman is straining to hold back a vault-busting amount of sponsorship money. In fact, Man of Steel took in $160 million from sponsorship tie-ins before a single ticket was sold. Here are some of the reportedly 100 sponsors (with products available at stores now!) that you can watch getting punched in Man of Steel. Spoilers below, of a sort.

Sponsor: 7-Eleven convenience stores
Prominent Appearance: Once, in an early meeting between Superman and Zod.
Method of Destruction: Superman punches Zod across several fields and into a 7-Eleven, which blows up.

Sponsor: Sears
Prominent Appearance: A major action sequence is set in front of a Sears; Ma Kent is a Sears employee, shown at home in her blue shirt and lanyard, which says more about the modern world than anything else in the film.
Method of Destruction: As far as I could tell, Sears seemed to survive. Its signage remained intact, at least.

Sponsor: IHoP
Prominent Appearance: A figure from Clark’s childhood appears as an IHoP employee in Smallville – a town which should be renamed “Home of Big Brand America.”
Method of Destruction: Faora punches Superman through the front window of one of America’s popular pancake houses. Or maybe Superman punches Faora? Or maybe it was that other guy who punches and throws things? I never learned his name.

Sponsor: Nikon
Prominent Appearance: Lois Lane is able to take revealing photographs at night, thanks to the D3s’ revolutionary FX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED  image processor.
Method of Destruction: A weird-ass Kryptonian security bot smacks the hell out of the camera after being startled by its powerful Speedlight flash.

Sponsor: Nokia & Microsoft
Prominent Appearance: There’s only one phone in Man of Steel, and it’s the Nokia Lumia 920 running the Windows 8 Phone operating system. And it’s everywhere. I’m surprised that Jor-El wasn’t sharing his favourite apps and music with the High Council on Krypton.
Method of Destruction: Millions of people appear to die in the film, so it’s reasonable to assume that millions of phones went with them. But do you really want to live in a world where all the phones run Windows?

One day you’ll be able to select promotional items for purchase from the comfort of your seat, but for now we have to hold back until the movie’s over and we can feverishly summon them up on our mobile phones in the lobby. And once your products arrive, you can imitate your favourite superhero by punching them repeatedly until they break.

Author: Aidan Morgan

Aidan is a very serious man who’s saving up for a nice dignified pipe. Then we’ll see who’s laughing.

12 thoughts on “Man Of Shill: How Superman Promotes Products (By Punching Them)”

  1. You don’t need the possessive-indicating apostophe in Sears; “Sears employee” is OK.

  2. Sears closing some stores soon.
    Superman is all about selling things.
    Who knew fake imaginery characters could generate so much $$$.

  3. if only the fake imaginary character known as prairie dog could have a marketing line for more $$ eh? that’d be sweet…..

  4. Listen to Chapeau, Steve. We need a line of plush Prairie Dog prairie dogs. And action figures. And lunch boxes.

  5. That particular comic book’s been getting the give-away treatment in a number of places, in addition to Sears. Most comics shops I know of were in on it as well, although they’ve not gotten the same privileged treatment as Sears.

    Frankly, I’m surprised that Anheuser-Busch InBev via their Budweiser and (recently annexed) Alexander Keith labels didn’t play up their connection to the new movie in some way!

  6. Further on the IHOP item: the childhood figure you refer to was supposed to be Pete Ross (a far cry from one of his comic book counterparts who managed to briefly serve as US President). Faora-Ul’s overly-tall ally in working over Superman was Nam-Ek. And Clark and Faora seemed to be trading punches back and forth rather freely. One assumes that Faora’s willing participation in attempted genocide rightly voided any normal rules about good manners.

    As for the death toll, the same company that attempted to suss out the casualty/damage tolls in last year’s Avengers installment also tried to work out something for Man of Steel:

    http://satblog.methaz.org/?p=1404/

    For interesting legal issues with clear Canadian connections:

    http://lawandthemultiverse.com/2013/06/18/man-of-steel/

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