California Science Center – Marvel Superhero Exhibit

The client remarked, “the overall coverage for the launch was one of the
most successful ever, since the opening of the Science Center”

Project Challenge

  • Buried in the heart of the entertainment capital of the world, the not-for-profit California Science Center had a very limited budget to announce the opening of the Marvel Super Heroes exhibit in the face of massive advertising campaigns for other more well-known entertainment destinations
  • Desire to expand visitor profile beyond just moms with kids


  • Exhibit focused on the “science” of Marvel Comics, creating an opportunity to use popular Marvel characters in the advertising to reach a new audience – comic book fans and collectors
  • Capitalize on the emerging trend of comic book movies (Spider-Man, Batman, X-Men)


  • Used movie-marketing strategy to showcase the colorful, fun, and artistic nature of the exhibit – Launched low-level teaser campaign 3 weeks prior to opening to entice the targets, followed by a multi-media campaign on opening weekend for maximum impact – Created buzz among comics fans with niche media and guerilla marketing tactics (Pole Banners, Graffiti Mural located near the biggest comic book store in LA, Mobile Billboards, Online) – One-on-One Interaction – management at Golden Apple Comics to pass out flyers to customers and offer a discount on purchase of a comic with a ticket stub from the exhibit – Targeted moms with media they use to plan activities for their families (Newspaper Entertainment Sections, Online) – Drove traffic to the CSC website for visitors to purchase tickets online
  • Opportunistically took advantage of theatrical opening of “X-Men 3” (5/26/2006) to re-invigorate interest in the exhibit – Insertions in Newspaper Entertainment Sections and Mobile Billboards targeting movie-goers waiting in line


  • 25% jump in opening day attendance (vs. average for previous California Science Center exhibits)
  • Extensive PR coverage; the client remarked, “the overall coverage for the launch was one of the most successful ever, since the opening of the Science Center”
  • Pole Banners actually generated so much buzz that people blogged about them, and several people wrote to the Science Center within 24 hours of the pole banners being posted to try to buy copies of the banners
  • The client loved the idea of the graffiti mural. The quote we received was, “WOW. It looks fantastic! Awesome job!”
  • Other user-generated content included several blogs and fan reviews
  • Hollywood took notice – a reporter on wrote a weblog about his experiences at the opening
  • Overall, the campaign generated tremendous buzz and achieved its primary objective of exposing a new audience to the CSC