Chris Evans is currently on Broadway, which means he is excused from most of the Avengers: Infinity War press. (He is expected at the premiere on Monday, which means he will still be rocking That Mustache. He’s going to look like that at the Avengers premiere.) But! A Marvel star’s work is never done, and just because he schlepping around the world, doesn’t mean he has no responsibilities. Chris Evans has, apparently, gotten the viral marketing assignment as he tweeted out some videos of stunt training for Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s flawless elevator fight scene. Still one of the best pieces of action Marvel has produced.
I’m pretty sure there has been behind-the-scenes footage from this fight preparation on the internet before, but Evans’ tweets are undoubtedly part of the overall Avengers marketing strategy. As we learned during the Sony hack, studios often count on stars’ social media as another outlet for promotion, but what sets Marvel apart is, as always, the tone of the thing. It’s not thirsty or pushy or even particularly hustling. Of course, Evans is about to be part of one of the biggest movies in history (again), so it’s not like they’re out here scraping the bottom of the barrel for an audience. The entire world is going to go see Infinity War. But what has made Marvel such an unstoppable machine is, as I’ve called it before, the “clubhouse”.
It’s that feeling that the Avengers are the most fun, that they actually like each other—they do—and that where they are is the coolest place to be, and we want to be there with them. That feeling starts with stuff like this, with Chris Evans posting throwback stunt videos and reminding everyone of the moment Captain America got cool, and how hard he works to portray Cap. He’s not hitting up the morning shows or the talk show circuit, but through social media, Chris Evans can still factor in Avengers’ press in a way that engages fans. Everyone does this, but Marvel is insanely good at it. Partly it’s just the cast—they made a perfect chemistry stew. But it’s a lot of planning and positioning—who goes where, and when, and what they say and do in that moment—and social media is part of that planning.
Take, for instance, Sebastian Stan (I saw him first, LAINEY). He doesn’t have Twitter but he does use Weibo, the “Chinese Twitter”. Sure, stoking an international fan base helps him, individually, but not for nothing, Marvel consistently outperforms Star Wars in China. They do well there because it’s a market and a fanbase they care-take, and social media is a key part of that outreach. And with Chris Evans, everything he does for Marvel now has the feeling of a swan song. We know he’s done after Avengers 4 next year. We’re entering what is probably the last year of Chris Evans: Marvel Man, and we’re marking that with, essentially, a Cap highlight reel. This year, Marvel is celebrating their 10 year anniversary in theaters. Next year, it’s the end of an era as original Avengers start phasing out. Watch the tone the marketing takes around these milestones, and how unobtrusively the actors use social media to keep us involved. Right now, no one does this better.
In honor of Infinity War coming out next week, here are a few videos I found from 2013 while prepping for The Winter Soldier. pic.twitter.com/TFur0vZs3M— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) April 19, 2018