03 Sep 2019

What Amazon’s “The Boys” Can Teach Us About The Future

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If you haven’t yet watched Amazon’s new superhero series “The Boys”, it’s definitely worth a watch simply for what it can tell us about the future. Granted, we’re likely not soon to be inundated with super heroes in every town, but the marketing of those heroes on the show is pretty insightful.

The series tells the story of an alternative reality where superheroes are corporate megabrands and the marketing/government relations program are one and the same. The company that manages the biggest names in crimefighting is chasing a lucrative contract to outsource America’s superheroes to fight international enemies. Each of the superheroes has their own special abilities, but more importantly their own marketing team, videographers to capture their heroics, and corporate appearance schedule.Each also has their own line of products and accessories and works to maintain their brand integrity almost as hard as the guard their secret identity.

The writers clearly appreciate the current era of YouTubers, streamers, and influencers who turn a bright smile, sunny disposition, perfect body, or rapier wit into views, followers, and subscribers. The world of “The Boys” is much like our own, but on steroids. The superheroes fail routinely and innocent people die, but their personal brands save them from long-term harm to their own reputations, or even the reputation of the collective of heroes more generally.

Watching Elizabeth Shue as the head of corp comm for Vought Industries – the leading brand of supers, is a treat. Her Machiavellian effort to expand the company and grow their sphere of influence has a lot of basis in reality. Our corporate culture of using the government to achieve your ends (or simply going around government when it doesn’t), parallels the stories of our own mega-companies.

The show is well worth a watch just to enjoy all the marketing lessons it has to teach.

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