Inside ABC’s advertising and marketing push for ‘The Marvel Years’ reboot


Even if the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 continues to cause some marketing plans to fail, ABC is making a big boost in experience for the restart of “The Wonder Years”.

Modeled after the story of a 1960s middle-class Black family in Montgomery, Alabama, and inspired by a 1988 ABC show of the same name, the series promises a healthy dose of vintage setbacks – and that’s exactly what ABC gets with its massive interactive promotion that includes a time capsule experience, nationwide barbershop acquisitions and ice cream truck events.

Such experience-oriented marketing events are slowly creeping in again this year after an almost global hiatus following the rise of COVID-19 in 2020, with some experience-oriented creative shops even closed. But ABC and Hulu (both of which fall under the giant Walt Disney Company umbrella) seem optimistic about their in-person events this year for Big Sky and Queens shows.

Still, ABC stressed that it takes COVID precautions at all of its events, which are mostly outdoors and require vaccinations for all employees.

One of the key elements of “The Wonder Years” campaign is a “60s Time Capsule Experience,” where ABC will take over the VP Racing gas station in Hollywood, California and allow guests to fill their tanks and have a bite eat to eat at 60s prices. In other words, that’s 10 cents for a burger and 34 cents for a gallon of unleaded.

Located at the intersection of Highland and Franklin Avenues, the two-day takeover during premiere week will be a full experience with vintage uniforms, 1960s music and lots of change to allow guests to pay for their meals and gasoline.

Nostalgia marketing is all the rage right now, with brands building on their legacy to revive memories of seemingly simpler times.