Marvel has found a way to monetize its fans’ proclivity for taking selfies. Until December 31, Marvel Studios has pledged to donate five dollars to Save the Children for every branded selfie fans upload to MarvelStudiosHeroActs.com.
Marvel launched a promotional campaign alongside Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the selfie donations are just one part of the company’s overall plan. The system for donating is free, and stunningly easy.
Of course, there’s the double-edged sword of having to share your superhero selfie with at least one social network, in order for your “donation” to be made official. By posting your face on Instagram or Facebook, you’re furthering Marvel’s brand reach, which most Marvel fans do in their free time anyway.
Marvel Studios: Hero Acts was launched in October, and its website outlines the brand’s future plans for community involvement and charity work. The brand has become famous for sending its actors, in costume, to children’s hospitals on promotional visits, so the selfie outreach initiative is simply an evolution of that trend.
Of the characters in the company’s future films, Spider-Man is the Avenger most likely to be involved with community programs. It’s ironic, of course, that Doctor Strange was the first Avenger featured on Hero Acts ads, given that he’s a rich and memorably pompous old white guy, but Marvel taking liberties with its hero roster is par for the course.
It remains to be seen what outreach Marvel Studios will announce along with 2017’s superhero films, including Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Thor Ragnarok.