The Worst Badvertising and Best Radvertising of Comic-Con 2013

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The bigger Comic-Con gets, the more the marketing madness spreads across the whole city of San Diego. And this year, the promo craziness was everywhere. Some good, and some really freaking disgusting. So we picked through the swag and the handouts and the interactive experiences, to find the very best, and the very worst of Comic-Con advertising.


Oldboy Girls

Film District had a host of beautiful young ladies, ready to escort you under their yellow umbrellas, as a on-the-ground marketing campaign for Spike Lee's Oldboy remake. If you've seen the original movie, then you should be just as horribly skeeved out as we are. Which was probably exactly how this PR stunt was supposed to make you feel — so maybe one point Film District. But we're still staying the hell away from those umbrellas.

More images over at Film School Rejects (thanks for pointing this out to us!)

Trask Trucker Hats

Call us crazy, but we're not sure if the super scientific Trask Industries would be found on a purple trucker hat. Just saying. Now on sale for $17.00 on eBay.

Urinal Ad

We can't verify if this actually was at Comic-Con but twitter user badtopherbad snapped and posted this ad. Which just kind of makes us frown. If this is real, then OUYA is a gaming console, but instead we're thinking about dicks. So mission accomplished, OUYA. We guess.

Random Corporate Superheroes

We're not hating on the hard working street team folks (everybody has to make a living) but by the end of the Convention the large school of faceless, corporate superheroes handing out pamphlets and coupons just kind of blended into a sea of nothingness.

Image via MGO and MoviesOnDemand.

Godzilla Capes? Revolution Capes? The Following Capes?

Yay a Revolution Cape — just like in Revolution! Oh, wait. Each Comic-Con bag came with a fold out cape, and at first we thought, "oh how adorable!" But for a place that prides itself on nitpicking comic book irregularities, we're a little confused as to how the Godzilla cape works. Maybe it's supposed to be a highly flammable apron.

Thank you to our cape models Silas Lesnick and Sean OConnell.

Walking What?

This was an ad for the Walking Dead Escape which is a great obstacle course for zombie fleeing enthusiasts. Or at least we think that's what this giant balloon-adorned crash scene is advertising. Later on this was coupled by strange anti-zombie protesting "The Undead want you Dead" which, what? The whole thing was muddled.


Extreme Shire Makeover

We love, love, love it when the San Diego locals embrace the con in creative new ways (other than just jacking up the prices). The Tilted Kilt rebranded itself as the Pub in the Shire. Complete with shoe polish paintings of the shire, and "The Tilted Kilt" in LOTR letters. Very cute.

Cosmos Balloons

Neil deGrasse Tyson's new Cosmos series unfurled a batch of luminescent balloon planets, which glowed with great beauty at night. It captured the exact kind of wonder this show is trying to generate.

Images via akangaru instagram and Cosmos Facebook.

The Godzilla Experience

Absolutely the most well-thought-out San Diego Comic-Con experiences we have ever participated in. An entire world was constructed with insane detail — there was a sushi bar with Godzilla-themed menu entrée. The whole thing was an absolute work of art, we only wish it was still standing.

Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo Protest

Stan Lee's people turned the tables on the megaphone-toting evangelical protestors that clog the streets and intersections near the Convention Center, with some hilarious "Church of Stan" preaching.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Yes we took a dig above on the Trask trucker hat, but we have to give credit where it's due. The Sentinel Head reveal for X-Men: Days of Future Past was R-A-D. It looked sharp and slick as hell. And then later on in the day, this happened:

No idea if these protestors were bought and paid for or just a duo of savvy Convention-goers who seized the opportunity for a bit of humor. Either way, we LOVED it. And Fox wasn't done yet....

Simian Flu Vaccination

The second wave of guerrilla marketing for Fox was the secret Apes virus attack. "Doctors" took to the streets of San Diego to vaccinate everyone against Simian Flu. An obvious tie-in to the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie, this was quite clever. And also, the hand sanitizer spray was much welcomed.

Bates Motel Bathroom

Ah ha, we see what you did there, A&E.

Image via Fearnet.

Pedi Cabs

Once Upon A Time and Archer pedicabs were by far the best pedicabs. Archer was great because you could sit next to the drunken Greek spy god. And Once was great not only for building a giant boat, but for making their Captain Hook-cosplaying drivers wear eyeliner.

Adult Swim Spa

Adult Swim set up a day spa where Convention-goers could sign up for massages. People were handed robes and little cat slippers, inside this peaceful oasis (located right in the middle of the Comic-Con floor) while music with cat mews would play. Pretty brilliant.

Actual DuckTales Golden Coin Pit

Making everyone's childhood dreams come true, just don't dive, it's a bit shallow.

Walking Dead's The Governor's Room

Walking Dead constructed a massive prison guard tower and hired a bunch of zombies to lumber around outside of it, the whole get up was fantastic. However, INSIDE the prison was the real treat. AMC built the Governor's secret room complete with giant wall of floating zombie heads and a little zombie girl in a cage. Wonderful.

Clone Wars Sail Barge

All it needs is a BBQ stand and a Sarlacc pit, and our Tatooine sand dune beach party is complete.

Oblivion at Comic-Con

Oblivion marketed their DVD release by handing out posters of a ruined San Diego Convention Center. Only Tom Cruise can save us now.

Dothraki Signage

All the train stop signs were translated into Dothraki.

Breaking Bad Science Treats

So many blue treats from AMC — and rock candy!

Candy via Deliberate Marketing's Twitter account Beaker via AMC.

True Blood Blood Donation

True Blood had a lot of great puns circulating their #savethevamps blood drive, including cute "I was drained responsibly" t-shirts But I think the actual drop of blood donors squeeze while physically donating takes the cake. This was well thought out.

Image via Lauren DeWitt's twitter.

So, what did we miss? There's no way we could have caught everything. Post anything we may have overlooked in the comments, please!