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Comic Con will be held in Mumbai this weekend

Comic Con India has seen doubling of brand associations since 2015; to launch in Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai soon

Comic Con will be held in Mumbai this weekend
  • Comic Con India started in 2011 in Delhi and has now expanded to Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune.
  • The event has been witnessing a 15-20% increase in footfall every year.
  • Its brand associations have doubled since 2015, this year brands including Maruti Suzuki, Lenovo, AMD, Myntra, Asian Paints and ACT Fibernet have associated with the event.
  • Comic Con India will soon launch in Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai.
It is that time of the year again when comic lovers are gearing up to experience the two-day extravaganza that is Comic Con India (CCI). After its inaugural show in Delhi in 2011 saw about 5,000 visitors, the grand event has witnessed close to 15-20% increase in footfall, on an average, with each passing year.

Today, CCI has expanded beyond Delhi to cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune. It will soon launch in Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Chennai. Moreover, witnessing the love among youngsters for pop-culture and everything related to comics and superheroes, increasingly brands have started looking at the event as an effective touch-point, to reach out to its target audience.

As Mumbai gets ready for the event to be held this weekend, we caught up with Jatin Varma, Founder of CCI, who spoke to us about the event’s growth in the past few years and why more and more brands are choosing to associate with the event.

Edited excerpts:

Q. What kind of growth has CCI witnessed in the past few years? Can you give us an estimate in terms of an increase in the number of stalls/footfall?

Over the past few years, we have seen our footfalls increase at an average of 15-20%. However, this also depends on the increase in showfloor space as we can only accommodate so many people at one go.

Q. There has been an increase in brands wanting to associate with the event too. What are the benefits that a brand draws from associating with CCI? What kind of increase has your brand association seen?

Brands associations have been growing for us, year-on-year. In fact, it has doubled since 2015. Ours is a unique platform, where a brand has the ability to reach out to an extremely engaged consumer. Plus our audience sits in the sweet spot of 18-36 years of age and spends hours at our show, therefore giving a brand a great experiential marketing opportunity.

Some of the brands that have associated with us this year are Maruti Suzuki, Lenovo, AMD, Myntra, Asian Paints, ACT Fibernet, Sony Entertainment, Viacom, Disney India, Warner Brothers, Hotstar and Lionsgate Pictures, amongst others.

Q. What kind of associations are OTT players like Hotstar and Lionsgate Pictures looking at?

It's a sponsor association, where they take up space to showcase the latest content on their platforms. Their key objective is to market the premium content on their platforms.

Q. Comic Con in the US sees participation from many prominent celebrities, to celebrate their movies or shows. Can we expect the Comic Con format in India to get closer to the US format in the next few years?

That's a misconception that people end up having at times. All shows around the world, including the US feature comics, merch, cosplay, gaming and more. The same applies to us. What differs is the scale of the show at times (depending which show you might compare us with). The format is exactly the same, having travelled, experienced and also been part of organizing teams of shows around the world, I can attest to that.

With respect to guests, that's a larger market-based issue, wherein the Studio has to decide whether the local market justifies investing in bringing talent down to the country along with previewing content exclusively for the Indian audiences.

I think you'll see this happen more and more in the coming years, with talent and previews not just at our shows but in general being showcased for the Indian audiences. Having said that, over the past few years, we have brought down guests from various popular television series (such as Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Sherlock) and recently even a WWE star in collaboration with WWE India.

And since this is the Indian market, we actively feature previews and talent from Indian properties, be it films, TV or web series.

Q. How have you been marketing CCI so far? Have you increased your marketing spends this year? Does digital take the biggest share?

Our marketing is mostly digital, leveraging our database and social media. We certainly have partnerships along with some ATL spends, but we mostly connect with our audience digitally. The marketing spends this year are about 10% higher than the last financial year.

Q. Can we expect CCI to go to more cities in the near future?

Definitely! We are launching Ahmedabad in February 2020 and we also plan to go to Kolkata, Chennai and again to Pune soon.

Q. What are your strategies to taking CCI to the next level?

Next season will kickstart our 10th year as an organization. Going forward we hope to expand the experiential element of the show and give fans more to do at the show. We hope to leverage our partners to give Indian fans access to more content as well as access to their favorite stars. Lastly, we hope to push forward the gaming element at our shows in a bigger way.

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