Epix engages superhero fans before 'Avengers' debut

NEW YORK: Premium TV channel Epix has launched its first integrated campaign to promote its programming and engage fans before the release of 'The Avengers.'

NEW YORK: Premium TV channel Epix has launched its first integrated campaign to promote its programming and engage fans before the release of The Avengers.

The “We Get Big Movies” campaign is focused on the release of The Avengers, which is about Stan Lee's Marvel Comic superheroes, such as Iron Man and Captain America, forming a team.

Before the May 4 theatrical release of the film, Epix is planning a number of fan-engagement activities and events, said Nora Ryan, chief of staff at the company. The network's PR AOR, Sloane & Company, is helping with strategy and business communications. Epix is also working with Frank PR on entertainment activities and PMK-BNC on entertainment PR and regional outreach, added Ryan.

Epix is owned by movie studios Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Paramount Pictures.

From April 27-29, Epix will broadcast a “Marvel Heroes Weekend” hosted by Stan Lee, which will include a marathon of movies with Avenger characters, including Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America, Ryan said.

Three days prior, Epix plans to run a special event called “Epix Live with Stan Lee,” allowing both subscribers and nonsubscribers to chat with Lee about his superhero characters on the company website. Following the event, fans can watch the Epix-produced original documentary With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story, said Ryan.

“Fan engagement is really the big hook for us,” she said. “And when you talk about moving forward and what's in the future, that is always at the heart of our promotional strategy.”

On April 24, the company will host a press luncheon in Los Angeles with Lee as a guest of honor, Ryan said.

She added that Epix will promote the campaign and its sweepstakes to send fans to The Avengers premiere in Los Angeles on Facebook, Twitter, and EpixHD.com.

“We're very aggressive on digital outreach,” Ryan explained. “We have 20 different video clips related to these movies and these characters, which we syndicated to over 20 entertainment and fan websites.”

In addition to digital outreach, Ryan said the network and its agency partners have targeted national and key regional print media outlets, cable networks, and radio stations. Epix also engaged entertainment and TV bloggers for the campaign.

Ryan said Epix also created a press kit for the effort, which included a Captain America shield, facts about Stan Lee and his characters, a copy of the documentary, and DVDs of all of the movies that will be aired during the promotional weekend.

Ryan said Epix has more initiatives planned in the next few months.

“This time, we're focused on Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America and tying into the interest of The Avengers,” she said. “But watch for our next really big flight around The Hunger Games.”

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