This weekend’s premiere of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice can be seen as many things. First and foremost, it is the follow-up to 2013’s Man of Steel (starring Henry Cavill), which introduced the world to a more flawed version of Superman. In Dawn of Justice, he goes toe-to-toe with Batman (played by Ben Affleck) in a clash of fists and ideology. Second, the inclusion of Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) brings the big “Trinity” of the DC Comics universe to a live-action film, and sets the stage for an upcoming Justice League movie to take on the fantastically successful Avengers franchise. Third, and perhaps most important, it addresses the age-old comic book geek question of whether Batman can actually defeat Superman in a fight.
— Warner Bros Pictures (@wbpictures) March 23, 2016
Fans got their first look at the movie during the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, where the debut trailer gained a standing ovation. Hype and promotion continued to build over the following months, and although the movie’s promotion doesn’t have the same crazy, off-the-wall style of Deadpool, it does manage to have some fun while keeping to its dark man-versus-demigod theme. One of the more prominent promotions includes a Jimmy Kimmel Live sketch, which was shown after the Academy Awards, where the talk show host appeared in a “deleted” version of the confrontation scene between Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne.
In a slightly more serious promotion, Warner Bros. partnered with Turkish Airlines to produce a pair of themed commercials that aired during Super Bowl 50, which treated both Gotham City and Metropolis as fantastic real-life destinations thanks to wealthy benefactors like Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor.
However, the heroes don’t get all the fun. Lex Luthor (played by Jesse Eisenberg) was featured in some promotions of his own. The fictional character spoke in a couple of in-depth (fake) interviews on Wired Insider and Fortune. His company, LexCorp, has its own website where you can sign-up to become a Lex/OS beta tester. The genius mastermind even posted on a personal Twitter account for a while.
— Lex Luthor (@alexanderluthor) October 8, 2015
Food and soft drink brands were also quick to take advantage of the movie’s iconic heroes. Dr Pepper released a limited edition set of soda cans that feature the five main characters. Purchasing them can get $5 toward the purchase of a movie ticket, while scanning the Dawn of Justice-branded 20-oz. bottles with the Blippar app unlocks exclusive prequel comic books. Doritos joined the action with a sweepstakes, giving contestants a chance to choose between winning a Batman-or-Superman-themed prize. Choosing Batman could win you a trip to Barcelona where you can drive a Porsche Boxster, Lamborghini and Ferrari around the Montmeló national circuit or training track. Going with Superman gets you a “birds-eye view” helicopter ride around New York City. Meanwhile, Cold Stone Creamery is offering some hero-inspired ice cream treats with a toy topper, that also included a sweepstakes where winners are flown out to the movie’s red carpet premiere.
Considering how successful Batman: Arkham Knight was when it released last summer, it would be a big miss if Warner Bros. didn’t use its video game division to promote the movie. Arkham Knight added the Dawn of Justice Batman costume and Batmobile last fall. Similarly, new versions of the heroes were added to the Injustice: Gods Among Us mobile game earlier this month. Furthermore, Warner Bros. partnered with Psyonix for the Batmobile to appear in the hit game Rocket League. Now we can find out how well the iconic car fares in an epic soccer battle.
Speaking of cars, Fiat Chrysler revealed the 2016 Jeep Renegade Dawn of Justice Special Edition, which features all black, or black and granite versions. It probably doesn’t have any special armor or gadgetry outside of what you might expect from any other SUV, but you might feel sort of heroic while driving it.
On Monday, Warner Bros. hosted a 24-hour Batman v Superman Snapchat Discover channel, where fans could watch video clips featuring the movie’s actors and director. It also showcased artwork that DC Comics produced for the film, in addition to videos on the new Batmobile and Batwing. The Discover channel came after a four-day sponsored selfie campaign, where fans could take a picture of themselves dressed up as their favorite hero using a Batman, Superman or Wonder Woman lens.
— Batman v Superman (@BatmanvSuperman) March 19, 2016
Lastly, Amazon unexpectedly joined in the Batman v Superman fun with its iPhone app, and the company seems to be choosing a side. The Amazon app has a little Easter egg programmed into it, and using the “visual search” function on a “face-off” movie poster will summon a 3D augmented reality bat signal. Unfortunately, Android users can’t call the Dark Knight, but it’s a fun addition to help build up to the movie’s premiere on Friday.