Though its release date is only half a year away, Disney has done little to nothing to market Avengers 4. In fact, the studio has been keeping everything about the sequel, from the confirmed cast to the very title of the movie, as nebulous as possible. It's clear studio executives believe in the "less is more" approach, as they're undoubtedly intent on maintaining -- and even increasing -- the shroud of secrecy surrounding the Infinity War follow-up.
With rumors suggesting that Marvel Studios plans to market the film in a "very different" way in order to continue the mystery surrounding the movie as long as possible, there's one thing many people aren't picking up on: Avengers 4 really doesn't need any marketing. As in, any at all.
Let's be real, all the marketing needed came in the Infinity War ending. The death of all those superheroes thanks to the Mad Titan and his Infinity Gauntlet was akin to a season finale cliffhanger, making Avengers 4 the season premiere you have to tune into. And a lack of marketing really isn't that big a risk given the brands involved. The Disney/Marvel Studios banner has transformed into a brand, one of the few, that has universal appeal across the world -- so much so, that for this picture, it can afford to run a blank marketing campaign.
Just look at the box office records broken this year alone by Black Panther and Infinity War. Do you really think fans won't fill seats to see the conclusion to Phase Three? Marvel movies have become pillars of pop culture, with Black Panther's rise transcending your average blockbuster and becoming a sociopolitical movement. Infinity War, from the funny memes to its take on heroism and ultimate sacrifice, took Hollywood popcorn flicks to the next level, and as a result is now the fourth highest-grossing film ever.
Having no marketing campaign for Avengers 4 would be an amazing form of guerrilla marketing, creating buzz online and off, building the mystery of what waits behind the proverbial curtain. By minimizing or holding off on the posters, clips and trailers that spoil so many pivotal moments in so many movies, Disney would create history. It's an opportunity to accomplish what no tentpole blockbuster has ever attempted, and could truly set the Marvel Cinematic Universe apart from every other major release, most of which can barely keep a secret these days.
What's been kept hidden so far is really quite miraculous. Apart from leaked set photos and images of toys, both of which are pretty much out of Marvel and Disney's direct control, the veil hasn't been lifted at all. Secrets have been maintained, keeping us guessing as to which characters will have the key roles, who will return from the grave, and who may not survive the final act. By staying off the grid, all Disney is doing is luring fans in closer an closer.
The lack of Avengers 4 marketing also helps preserve the shadow that looms over Spider Man: Far From Home, which is set minutes after the sequel's closing act. The absence of a marketing plan has created a puzzle, hiding important details about Peter Parker's future, and thus minimizing what we might otherwise "know" from the requisite leaked photos and rumors.
The Avengers franchise is top-shelf in terms of Hollywood blockbusters, and a lack of posters or teaser scenes won't stop seats from being filled or toys from being sold. If anything, it stands to create a higher demand. It is human nature to be more fascinated with the unknown, after all.
The untitled sequel to Avengers: Infinity War will release on May 3, 2019. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, it stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.