In a world where superhero sagas are often the linchpin of streaming platforms, Amazon seems to be playing a different game with its animated series, Invincible. Despite its palpable acclaim and a robust viewership that can stand toe-to-toe with other superhero giants, the show has navigated its journey with scarcely any marketing wind beneath its wings. Marge Dean, the Executive Producer of Invincible, shed light on this peculiar scenario during her keynote at the MIA Market event in Rome (via Deadline), expressing that the series succeeded mainly through word of mouth.
The disparity between the marketing efforts for Invincible and other Amazon Prime Video’s superhero series, notably The Boys, is stark and glaring. Dean revealed that Invincible operates on less than a twentieth of the budget of The Boys, with the difference most pronounced in the realms of marketing and advertising. Yet, despite these budgeting challenges, Invincible has managed to carve a significant niche in the superhero genre, often venturing into Amazon’s top-five most-watched shows.
A Triumph Against the Odds
Invincible’s Unlikely Success Story
Invincible has not only managed to rub shoulders with The Boys in terms of viewership but has also done so with a fraction of the latter’s budget and promotional push. The series, which launched its first season in 2021, has impressively managed to resonate with an audience that wasn’t traditionally or initially devotees of the superhero genre. The show, despite its lacklustre promotional push from Amazon, has managed to not only survive but thrive, speaking volumes about the sheer quality of its content and its ability to resonate with the audience.
The Power of Word of Mouth
The formidable comic-writing team of Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, and Ryan Ottley first conceived and developed the comic that would later become the show. Invincible charts the journey of Mark Grayson as he transforms into a superhero, with a voice cast that includes J.K. Simmons, Sandra Oh, and Steven Yeun. Dean expressed satisfied surprise at the show’s success, attributing it to the quality of the content and the outsized reach it achieved when it resonated with the audience.
The Underdog of Amazon Superhero Shows
Budget Constraints and Marketing Woes
Despite its acclaim, Invincible has had to navigate through its journey with significant budgeting challenges. The series receives a fraction of the budget allocated to The Boys, which is most glaringly evident in the realm of marketing and advertising. Dean’s revelations about the minimal marketing for the show highlight a peculiar scenario where a series has to rely heavily on word-of-mouth and organic growth to establish its presence among viewers.
A Stark Contrast with The Boys
Comparatively, The Boys, another flagship superhero series on Amazon Prime Video, enjoys a substantially larger budget and a more aggressive marketing strategy. This disparity not only underscores the challenges faced by Invincible but also magnifies its success, given the odds stacked against it. The series, despite its budgeting constraints, has managed to carve out a space for itself in the superhero genre, often featuring among Amazon’s top-five most-watched shows.
The Future of Adult Animation and Superhero Shows
Challenges and Prospects
Adult animation faces an uncertain future, despite its recent and robust success. Amidst the labour strikes roiling the entertainment industry, Invincible has persevered. However, Dean pointed out that other programmes in the genre will be a long time coming, delayed in production by the labour disputes. Her keynote observations also touched upon the much-discussed impact of AI on animation, expressing skepticism about AI’s actual ability to animate while acknowledging its beneficial usage in the development stages of production.
A Plea for Serious Consideration
Dean made an impassioned plea to the entire entertainment industry to consider adult animation as seriously as it does any other high-budget genre. She highlighted the depth, richness, and maturity of content adult animation can embody, urging its liberation from the stringent confines of “kids and comedy.” Noted directors like Guillermo del Toro, Wes Anderson, and Richard Linklater have all seized on the power and potential of animation, demonstrating how adult animation retains the ability to deliver profound, nuanced emotional experiences amid dynamic, action-oriented narratives.
Final Thoughts on Amazon’s Neglect of Invincible
Invincible stands out as a testament to the potential of quality content to triumph despite minimal marketing and promotional efforts. Its success story, albeit unlikely, underscores the power of compelling narratives, robust character development, and stellar voice acting in resonating with audiences and carving out a niche in a saturated genre. The series has managed to navigate through its journey, overcoming budgeting and marketing challenges, to establish itself as a noteworthy contender in the realm of superhero shows on Prime Video.
In light of the revelations and observations made by Marge Dean, it becomes imperative to ponder upon the future trajectory of adult animation and superhero shows, especially those that may not be bestowed with hefty budgets and marketing blitz. Invincible’s journey thus far not only serves as an inspiration for other shows navigating through similar challenges but also poses a question to streaming giants about the potential gems that may be lurking in the shadows, awaiting their moment in the spotlight.
What do you make of this news? Are you looking forward to watching Invincible Season 2 on Prime Video when it’s finally released?
Invincible Season 1 is available to stream on Prime Video.