BYU students recruited The Black Widow, Batman, R2D2 and more for their promotional videos leading up to Salt Lake City’s Comic Con, starting Sept. 4.
The Salt Lake Comic Con event is an opportunity for all pop culture fans to dress up like their favorite stars and get autographs and pictures with famous characters. The BYU Ad Lab was selected by Salt Lake Comic Con to promote the upcoming event. Comic Con wanted the team of BYU students to created viral videos to promote the event, which resulted in a series of comical YouTube clips of popular superheroes, called the “Fantastically Late Show.”
Tom Robinson, BYU advertising professor, and Pat Doyle, manager of BYU Ad Lab, came up with the idea of getting BYU students involved for the event’s promotion.
“I am a huge nerd,” Doyle said. “We said, ‘Let’s advertise something cool,’ and what’s cooler than Comic Con?”
The professors pitched the capabilities of the BYU Ad Lab, and Comic Con selected it for the project. The videos include many popular superheroes and were filmed on a student-made set in the Brimhall Building on campus. The team of BYU students worked with BYU’s Laycock Center for Creative Collaboration to produce the videos.
“We asked for a challenge, and we pitched 12 ideas,” Doyle said. “We narrowed it down to six ideas, and it turned into the Fantastically Late Show. It was all written, filmed and created by BYU students. This has been an incredible opportunity for the students to learn about content creation.”
BYU advertising majors Steffany Beddes and Peter Inouye worked as the art directors for the campaign. The project started in late June, and they had one and a half months to complete the project. The project included casting the superheroes and designing the set and props for the videos.
“We literally had to go into a different world — the world of nerds — to do this project,” Inouye said. “You don’t become it, but you have to immerse yourself in the story to make it come alive. I thought it was a nerdy project at first, but the more I worked on it, the more I got into it.”
The two directors studied comic books and their designs in order to make all of their materials for the promotion look genuine to the fans. The videos produced by the team of BYU students have been a hit on Facebook and YouTube, receiving hundreds of likes and comments from fans across the world.
“I was one of the only girls on the team,” Beddes said. “I had no idea about comic characters, but I learned a lot. And now, I have got a special place in my heart for Comic Con.”
Inouye and Beddes found Comic Con characters who owned and designed their own superhero costumes for the casting. Some of the costumes people had made cost more than $1,000. The group’s vision was to produce a realistic and entertaining series that would support Comic Con’s following.
“Our goal is to engage, entertain and get our audience excited for Comic Con,” Doyle said. “And the work of these students has been received very well.”
The event will take place Sept. 4–6 in Salt Lake City. The videos can be seen on Salt Lake Comic Con’s Facebook page.