From movie franchises to conventions that make international news, there’s no doubt about it: comicbook characters are hot right now. 

Being timely with pop culture trends played a big part in our success with the Marvel Origins campaign for Movoto. One of 14 campaigns we executed as part of our engagement, this asset included interactive graphics and a landing page that depicted the hometowns and current locations of 75 characters in the Marvel comic universe.

  • 365 featured stories, including placements on Yahoo, Mashable, MTV, Sploid, MentalFloss, Nerdist, and more
  • 10,790 Domain Authority points secured
  • More than 9,000 shares on social media
  • Nearly 1,100 shares from placement on Nerdist alone
  • 17,890+ views on Movoto’s landing page

The success of this campaign hinged largely on the popularity of the subject and the engaging qualities of the design. To delve a little deeper into these content secret weapons, we sat down with this campaign’s project manager.

Q: What did you love about working on this campaign?

Jake: First and foremost, I must admit that I have a secret “geek side” that is more and more becoming not so secret. I’ve always enjoyed comic books and the characters they highlight, so it was easy for me to get excited about Marvel Origins. But from a production standpoint, this project is also a great example of how a simple execution can provide big results.

Q: Just how simple was the execution?

Jake: The information was easy to find, yet hadn’t been compiled before. Many comic book characters have a rich history, and this includes complete origin stories with hometowns across the US and around the world. Once we compiled the data, we turned to our team of design gurus to visualize the superhero icons and maps, and our developers to tie everything together into a smooth online experience. We knew this would be a hit with publishers because our recent survey told us that 35% of them are looking for this kind of data visualization.

Q: So did you design with audiences in mind first, or publishers?

Jake: Definitely audiences. We know that you can have a flashy, high tech presentation, but if your data isn’t interesting, unique, or doesn’t provide an emotional or ego bait type of hook, then the presentation likely won’t matter.

Q: How did you turn data that was already available into an emotional or ego-based experience for users?

Jake: Maps are really great for this. Everyone can relate to having a hometown, and people want to see what is going on in or around the state or area they live in. This creates a geocentric, ego-bait hook.

Maps are also great for compiling a lot of information into a single graphic. When you look at a map of the United States, you are effectively viewing 50 different data sets at once, and because we see maps all the time, the mind can easily absorb the information being presented. By adding interactive features and creating a new visualization like this, we are able to more actively engage Millennials, who we know are not as likely to be intrigued by static images. Our studies on viral emotions have told us that this kind of surprise and intrigue are key to content sharing - which this project received in spades.

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