Comic-Con 2018 is underway in San Diego, as hundreds of entertainment brands converge on and near the San Diego Convention Center in an effort to woo attendees. The event has become an essential stop for new and returning shows looking to delight and expand their fan bases.
In recent years, Comic-Con has expanded well beyond convention booths and panels to include elaborate activations that surround the Convention Center.
Here’s a look at our 10 favorite TV-themed activations from this year’s Comic-Con. All of them will be operational until Comic-Con concludes on Sunday, unless indicated otherwise.
Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Experience (Amazon)
Amazon’s hefty marketing campaign for Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan continues with this action-packed activation, at the corner of First Street and Martin Luther King Promenade. The Jack Ryan Training Field combines a VR experience with real-world activities like zip lining, while Dark Ops immerses attendees into the events of the show’s first episode.
Dead Quarters (AMC)
AMC combines elements of The Walking Dead and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead in this year’s offering in which fans can walk through settings from both shows, including the Sanctuary and a 22-foot zombie slide inspired by a similar one in Fear. And if you’re looking for a photo with Negan’s “flaming Lucille,” AMC has got you covered. It’s located at the Martin Luther King Promenade, in front of the Hilton Gaslamp Hotel on 4th Avenue and L Street.
Adult Swim State Park (Adult Swim)
Adult Swim can always be counted on to do something innovative during Comic-Con. This year is no exception. The network has constructed a state park, located on 5th Avenue Landing and Convention Way. The park, which is open through Saturday, features canoe races, archery contests, chainsaw-wielding wood carvers and merit badges for completing tasks like waiting in line.
The Good Place Experience (NBC)
In what NBC says is its biggest Comic-Con activation ever, the network has created a version of the neighborhood seen in the Kristen Bell/Ted Danson comedy, in Gaslamp Square. And nearby Tin Fish Restaurant has been transformed into The Good Plates, the restaurant featured on the show, with branded menus and tabletops.
Castle Rock (Hulu)
For its upcoming anthology series based on Stephen King’s novels and the fictional Maine town that many of them take place in, Hulu has constructed a multi-room bed and breakfast from the town, which it says will make attendees “question what is real.” The installation, at the southwest corner of Front Street and Island Avenue, across from the New Children’s Museum, also includes a forest, which is home to a campsite lounge as well as other spooky moments.
Cartman’s Escape Room (Comedy Central)
Ahead of South Park’s 22nd season, Comedy Central has created an escape room at San Diego Winter Center (200 Harbor Drive #12) in which 10 fans will have a limited amount of time to solve a series of puzzles (all of them South Park-themed, of course) to free themselves.
Bob’s Burgers/Shake Shack (Fox)
As Adweek detailed earlier this week, today only, Fox is using a Bob’s Burgers-wrapped bus to transport Comic-Con attendees from the San Diego Convention Center to the Mission Valley Shake Shack, which features Bob’s Burgers/Shake Shack branding and artwork on the restaurant’s patio. In a nod to the show’s “Burger of the Day” running gag, the show’s creative team worked with Fox to create an exclusive “Can I Have Your Slaw-tograph” burger of the day: a cheeseburger topped with American cheese, BBQ pulled pork, pickles, jalapeno and scallion slaw. Fox will provide 500 free meals—the burger of the day, fries and a drink—to hungry Comic-Con attendees.
FXhibition 2018 (FX)
As usual, the network is highlighting several of its shows instead of focusing on just one or two. This year’s lineup, on the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Lawn, includes absorbing installations from American Horror Story (its upcoming Season 8 will be subtitled Apocalypse), Legion, Archer, Sons of Anarchy spinoff Mayans M.C. and a Friday the 13th-themed activation for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s 13th season. FX worked on the activation with Creative Riff, which also collaborated on Hulu’s Castle Rock installation.
Team Coco House (TBS)
As Conan O’Brien branches out into more digital content and live events as part of his new multi-platform TBS deal, he is bringing a nightly pop-up comedy club to Comic-Con through Saturday. Located at 327 Fourth Ave., Team Coco House features standup from comics like Rory Scovel, podcasts, screenings, a table read for the animated series Final Space (which O’Brien produces) and appearances from the host himself.
Fast Forward to the Future (Amazon Fire TV)
Networks aren’t the only ones making waves at Comic-Con. Amazon Fire TV has brought the Game of Thrones’ Iron Throne as part of its activation, which takes guests through TV’s past, present and future while also giving them an early look at its new Fire TV Cube streaming media player. The experience is located at the corner of 7th Avenue and Market Street.
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