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A new TV spot for The Incredible Hulk features Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr. Yes, we all knew that he was set to appear in the film, but it’s somewhat surprising to see Stark placed front and center here before we even gleam the movie’s logo, the Hulk or star Edward Norton. With Iron Man approaching $300 million domestically, it’s obvious why Universal and Marvel would emphasize the seamlessness, novelty and quality assurance represented by his cameo/connection.
This is a new approach to marketing and might very well be a way to work with, neutralize or counteract spoilers. Expect to see more interwoven ads in the future as Marvel’s stack of in-house projects take off; and also expect more editorials by the pound from Entertainment Weekly bemoaning superhero films as even the mainstream marketing geeks out and borders esoteric. But for now: “Look dude, Iron Man’s on TV. What’s going on !?!?! Does Stark fight the Hulk? How is it 5 o’clock already?”