The Fan Behind the Mask: Who’s Paying Attention to Comic-Con?

Every year, thousands of comic fans descend upon San Diego for Comic-Con International, the world’s largest gathering of supporters of all kinds of comics. The convention makes plenty of headlines for celebrity appearances and breaking news about upcoming projects, but the event also presents a huge opportunity for advertisers – if they knew who the more than 150,000 consumers who attended, and the millions more reading Comic Con updates, were.

Leveraging the Viant Advertising Cloud, Viant’s people-based platform of more than 250 million registered viewers, we uncovered the brand preferences of fans of DC and Marvel movies as compared to those who aren’t interested in the latest news from Gotham.

So: What do we really know about comic movie enthusiasts? Read on. The results may surprise you.

No Plans to Purchase Spider Man’s Ride

Comic fans might like watching fancy cars on screen, but they’re less likely than non-comic fans to park one in their garage. Interesting, considering the popularity of luxury automakers forging partnerships with comic movie franchises.

Nonetheless, comic fans are 14% less likely to drive an Audi, 11% less likely to drive a Mercedes Benz and 8% less likely to drive a Lexus, key sponsors for Spider Man, Justice League and Black Panther, respectively.

Comic movie fans’ preference lean more towards sensible auto choices. Compared to non-comic fans, fans of DC and Marvel movies are 5% more likely to drive a Chevy or Ford, key sponsors of Guardians of the Galaxy, LEGO Batman and Wonder Woman.

 Frogger > Tomb Raider

Despite comic movies fitting neatly into the “action” and “adventure” genres, when it comes to video games, comic fans aren’t any more drawn to those themes than non-comic fans. Both groups are about as likely to play action/adventure or fighting-focused video games.

Compared to non-comic fans, however, comic fans are 5% more likely to be into classic arcade games as well as racing, shooting, sports-themed, strategy and role-playing games.

Leave the Heroics to the Heroes on Screen

Politics often play a big role in comic movies, but that doesn’t mean fans are more likely to be civically engaged like the characters they cheer for.

In fact, comic fans are 18% less likely to take an active role in a civil, social or political issue. Similarly, they’re 10% less likely to attend a political rally, speech or organized protest of any kind. Comic fans are also 9% less likely to serve as an officer for a club or organization or on a committee for a local organization when compared to non-comic fans.


What else? 
  • Comic fans are 15% more likely to eat at Carl’s Jr. and Little Caesar’s, 12% more likely to eat at KFC, Pizza Hut and Sonic and 11% more likely to eat at Burger King and Dairy Queen than non-comic fans.
  • When it comes to soft drinks, regular Coke is the beverage of choice for comic movie fans. They’re 6% likelier to drink it, while non-comic fans prefer Diet Coke.
  • Comic fans are, unsurprisingly, into Halloween. They’re 8% more likely than non-comic fans to be high-spenders on the holiday, as well as 9% more likely to decorate their home or yard. They’re also 6% more likely to dress their pets up in costume.
  • Comic fans are into collecting. They’re 10% more likely to collect stamps and figurines, 9% more likely to collect dolls and 8% more likely to collect coins.
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