I can’t be the only one that noticed the Oceanic Airlines advertisements in this week’s Marvel comics. There was one ad on top of a cab in Daredevil, and there was another one behind Apocalypse in Ultimate X-Men. Those things looked so out of place that they were pretty much all I could focus on in those pages.
I don’t really undertsand why they’re there, though. Viewers of Lost certainly know the name Oceanic Airlines, but does anyone else? What’s the point in having this sort of viral marketing when the only people you’re marketing to are the people that are already part of your market?
So I got to thinking, maybe this isn’t something planned with the guys at Lost at all. Maybe this is Marvel’s new attempt to be hip and cool by associating themselves with the hip and cool TV show of the moment. They have “Colbert ’08” signs in the background sometimes, too.
Regardless of whether or not this is a cross-promotion or a cheap pop culture reference, it’s annoying. The Oceanic Airlines images stick out like a sore thumb, because they’re computer-generated images layed over hand-drawn artwork. That crisp, clean logo just doesn’t look right on top of a expertly-rendered taxi. Now that I’m looking at the final page of Ultimate X-Men again, it turns out there’s not one, not two, but three Lost references in that one splash page.
If an artist decided to drawn in a reference to one of their favorite TV shows (or whatever) every so often, I’d have no problem with it. Sometimes those sort of Easter eggs can be kind of fun. But when it’s obviously forced in there by editorial, and it happens more than once a week (and especially if it’s more than once a page), that’s just stupid.