Coca-Cola and Marvel Unleash a Fusion of Flavourful Fandom Fantasy!

May 20, 2024By Chris Severs (@MrktSmart)
Chris Severs (@MrktSmart)

What does NOSTALGIA mean for brands?  It seems more than ever many people wish for a return to simpler times. Let’s not kid ourselves – we feel digital burnout, information overload and (global) crisis fatigue.  This is why many brands are now using nostalgia to reconnect with their audiences and remind them why they started using the brand's products or services in the first place.

I’ve been a ‘digital ad guy’ for over 20 years.  Going a bit further back, say, since the dawn of time, advertising’s goal really hasn’t changed much - stand out, drive some awareness & interest, then generate a response.  Go visit your local park space in the spring where Peacocks nail this strategy to perfection, if you’d like a more naturally occurring example!

More recently though, a lot of “human” advertising has felt a bit, mundane. "Check-boxed” commercials, recycled elements, overly repetitive & invasive, made-for-ads websites (MFAs), overused-AI…the risk of annoyance is a fine line to success.  Remember the Covid-19 Pandemic, how networks pushed out new content FAST just to keep us from cancelling our services, but the quality suffered?  Yeah…that kind of mundane.

Then, like a blast from Cyclops, Coca-Cola has again shattered expectations with its latest collaboration, teaming with Marvel to create a nostalgia-infused TV commercial experience that in my humblest opinion, is nothing short of Dazzling. As a fan of both iconic brands, assembling this synergy left me exhilarated, and thirsty, yet there are of course a few issues I’ll have to include too!


coca-coal x marvel

The new commercial begins in a local comic bookstore (aka, the LCS), where its attendee sorts through a collection of new books. Taking a quick mental break, she is suddenly whisked away into an augmented-reality adventure with Marvel characters.  I really liked this transition - after all, aren’t comics SUPPOSED to ignite the reader’s imagination?  Dang, it even brought back memories of BIG BANG THEORY LoL!

The seamless integration of Coke’s timeless charm (and ad budgets) with Marvel comic characters quickly builds a blend of nostalgia and excitement. As the first scene unfolds, X-Men enthusiasts will be put off - we know the Juggernaut is NOT the same size as Godzilla, nor seemingly unable to speak.

Yet, I get it this was done to showcase a very physically strong villain and create immediate awe & concern to those who may not otherwise be familiar with the character.

Hurtling a Waste Management garbage truck down the street (a little product placement, maybe?), THE FALCON quickly saves a headphone-engrossed, unsuspecting citizen enjoying her time on a bench.  Obviously pissed, Juggernaut stomps an enormous boot sending shockwaves back through the LCS and igniting a very KEY character off the cover of his recently released comic...



For those of you who know me, you know Matt is my all-time favourite street level hero, so yeah, ¦when I saw this it was BILLY CLUB HOOK, LINE & SINKER getting my attention fully focused!

The way the scene then integrates DD’s “radar vision” to assess the threat, problem & potential outcome was exactly as it should have been.  It was, to me at least, comic perfect.  Moreover, if you hadn’t heard already, Daredevil Season IV on Disney+ is expected to see between 13-18 episodes in 2025, so the speculation hints are starting!

Further, check out the book DD animates out of his own comic book cover - it sure looks like (an edited) version of Daredevil #1 (2023) by Writer Saladin Ahmed & Artist Aaron Kuder.  DID YOU KNOW this book is also available in VERY limited digital release on the new VeVe Comics Site? If you're into speculative buys or connecting dots like this, again I just love the fun integrations this offers!

daredevil comics

The animation, A/R and assimilation into the clip were FAN-Tastic.  You see, I’m also a pretty engaged user of 3D, A/R digital collectibles apps like VeVe, Candy / DCNFT and Cryptoys, who have licenses with Marvel, Disney, Pixar, Universal Studios and many more to distribute these assets to owners, traders & collectors.  So, to see those digital collecting experiences take shape in an actual TV commercial was a Snap in earning my interest.

Another huge highlight came via my favourite Canadian Mutant, WOLVERINE’S perfectly-timed “SNIKT,” further noting Marvel just released their 1st and very limited (only 3181 edition) Wolverine 3D, Animated, Audio-Enabled digital collectible on the VeVe app.  Some of you will quickly note the '181' in that release amount, while others will see the connection to Deadpool III's release this summer (who is seen briefly shoving copious amounts of popcorn into his mask-dawned face).


As a 35+ year (give or take!) Marvel comic fan, reader, digital collector, and marketer, I was captivated by the sheer brilliance of the storytelling.  It pays respect to comic fans, while encouraging new audiences to enjoy and participate with both brands.  Add in an orchestral Marvel theme into the background and well, you know my take!


What truly sets the strategy apart is its innovative use of augmented reality (AR) technology to deepen its overall engagement potential. Coke is no stranger to digital collectibles (NFTs), having successfully executed several campaigns using digital assets.  These include digital clothes, Starlight Coke Cans, even a series of classic-through-modern vending machines, bridging the divide between physical, traditional collectors and modern, digital collectors.

A simple contest had VeVe's Coke vending machine owners use the apps easy A/R feature to place the digital machines beside physical ones, and the engagement was incredible. If that puts a few people a bit closer to a physical machine, well maybe Coke might just sell a few extra bevvies while those experiences materialized.

veve coca cola vending machine

By scanning specially marked Coca-Cola cans, viewers witness Marvel’s Universe come to life through an A/R extension on the Coke website. There are 38 heroes featured, with bonus prizing including Disney+ subscriptions, Marvel Movie Premiere’s, Collector Influencer boxes & more.  See all the great details & available heroes at  The campaign is also launching globally, across 50 countries!


Fans of the VeVe app are already familiar with integrating their mobile-based, digital assets into physical settings that become virtual backgrounds where collectible heroes and villains jump to life in epic, immersive experiences.  These blur the lines between fiction and reality, leaving you spellbound by the possibilities, if you think outside the box.

When Marvel dropped “QR Code Easter Bunnies” in episodes of Moon Knight on Disney+, sharp-eyed viewers were instantly drawn into the fan experience, receiving free digital copies of Moon Knight’s 1st-Appearance comic books if they scanned the QR codes.  These ideas, fun and virtual engagement opportunities are only going to improve, so PAY ATTENTION marketers!

 Moon Knight

Imagine a world where product announcements come with their own interactive experiences, where consumers can engage with brands in ways they never thought possible.  Initial Metaverse applications have already released, Apple’s Vision-Pro is a reality, and the massive gaming audience are already vastly familiar with interconnected virtual reality.  It's a revolution in advertising that promises to redefine the way we interact with the world around us.

I do like how this Coke-Marvel collaboration appeals to both die-hard fans and casual consumers alike. For those like me, who grew up devouring comic books and watching blockbuster movies come out of those books, seeing my favorite characters share space with Coke evokes a nostalgic sentiment that will directly support pending Marvel theatrical, comic and collectible releases, while keeping the Coca-Cola employment-generating engine alive and well.

Conversely, even if you're not intimately familiar with the Marvel (Cinematic) Universe, the commercial's captivating visuals and exhilarating action sequences are more than enough to draw you in. It's a testament to the universal appeal of these iconic brands' ability to forge connections with audiences across generations.


A friend, creative designer expert & HULK-level collector commented the commercial has some ambiguity regarding the product itself though.  Would consumers know it's about promoting the cans, or was this about movie & comic experiences?  Fair enough, but arguably maybe that was the point…

Also, pay attention at the grocery store, as it might end up being the same hero on all cans in the box (I need to check this myself).  If so, this could have been a major collectibles opportunity - for instance, maybe in every 1000th random box there exists a very limited edition can…a specific hero with maybe just 1000 total in existence to pump up the prize winning opportunities.

I know a lot of gigs can challenge the 'ol boredom meter, but working at a comic book shop? Every time I've ever visited my LCS the staff are like superheroes themselves. Always smiling, waving, asking to help, busy doing LCS 'stuff...' So the blank, doldrum-looking stare on the actor's face seems a bit odd, but it's a pretty small irritant compared to the need to jump quickly into a story.

man wears yellow and green jersey shirt


In the comic collecting community, there have been upheavals of late.  A big-name grading company fell under a fraud investigation, costs of shipping & staffing stores are increasing and debates over recent movie releases missing the mark on their loyal fan bases have dented a once unsinkable ship.  What I saw in this ad spot, however, was an amazing web of well-considered ideas, ultimately aimed at putting the fun of this hobby back at the forefront of the story.

It morphed an uncanny cinematic experience that's as exhilarating as it is enjoyable.  My inner-geek compelled me to rewatch it several times as every aspect of this team-up feels like a WHAT-IF into the future of advertising. This commercial hit my nostalgic sweet spot to a tee, and I do expect more brands will follow suit.

Will I collect at least a few of these Marvel hero Coke cans?  You Betcha.

Marvel hero Coke cans

CHEERS to a partnership that's truly anything but an endgame to advertising fun!