I love Marvel movies, but maybe not for the same reason that you love them.
Oh, sure, I like the action, and the characters are fun, and I enjoy the sense of humor, plus there’s the occasional plot twist to make things interesting. I have my favorites, and I enjoy the occasional discussion about them.
But what I really like is waiting around until after the credits.
If you’re a diehard Marvel fan, you’ll understand. You know that if you wait patiently—or not so patiently–through the credits when the movie is over, there will be a short pause when the audience collectively holds its breath, and then you’ll be rewarded with a brief teaser of the next Marvel movie, or a special promo, or a cameo with someone famous, or something snarky that’s related to the Marvel universe but is mainly there to be snarky.
All in all, it probably amounts to about 20 seconds of screen time, but it’s all worth it, because while it’s great marketing–get them thinking about the next movie before they’ve even left the theater! what it’s also about is community.
When you’re sitting in that darkened theater waiting, anticipation building, you’re having a great shared experience: You all know why you’re there and what you’re waiting for. And you’re also being given something extra–the equivalent of a party bag, if you will. And after it’s over, and you’re digesting what you’ve seen, you can rush home–depending on your degree of dieharded-ness–and trade theories with other Marvel fans online or though social media or even around the dinner table, should you so choose. But the experience has this, “We’re all in this together” feeling, which is what the creator of a wildly successful franchise wants in its fan base. It engenders a sense of loyalty and privilege: “Hey—you’re part of this.”
It’s something you can mull over from time to time, and idly wonder about and remember, as you move towards the next movie.
It’s also just a good reminder of a seamless experience; even if it’s predicated on marketing, it’s done so skillfully that you almost forget that part. They’ve gotten across their message and also done an amazing job of team building.
And that’s the takeaway, right there.