I had discovered this article the other day about the differences between people today and 30-some years ago, when I came across this particular item in the list:
Now, obviously the first thing I'm thinking is that whoever wrote this needs to go back to journalism school or get an editor or someone to explain the idea of "fact-checking".
My next thought, however, was "actually, why wouldn't someone make this assumption?"
Over the years, and especially recently, Marvel has done a really good job of promoting itself and keeping it's brand in the public eye. DC? Even with the occasional hit movie, not so much.
So, does DC have an image problem? Am I wrong in thinking this would be a natural assumption? Should someone at DC be worried that this is a natural assumption?
Yeah, Marvel definitely is more synonymous with superheroes than DC is, and far more in the public eye. People know Batman and Superman, but they don't know DC. People know Marvel as much or more than they know Thor.
It's a big branding problem for DC -- even when they have a hit, some of the audience will give credit to Marvel.
Maybe it's the name. Marvel's a word -- it has other meanings beside a comic brand, but it's memorable. DC are just initials, and they're overshadowed by their use as our nation's capital.
I think it is the movies. DC has concentrated on animated and marvel live action.
Also Marvel has that very neat opening for all of the movies that is quite memorable. I don't recall what, if anything, DC has like that. I think they just flash their logo and that is it.
Having read this article, I came away wholly unconvinced that it proves what it claims to be proving.
But to your questions -- "So, does DC have an image problem? Am I wrong in thinking this would be a natural assumption? Should someone at DC be worried that this is a natural assumption?" -- yeah, I'd say DC has an image problem. Marvel has successfully branded itself to the degree that when you say "superheroes," you think "Marvel."
One case in point: I once saw promos for an episode of Mythbusters that dealt with superhero myths, such as whether the Batmobile could safely make a 90-degree turn if the driver first anchored the car with a sturdy cable around a pole. The promo specifically stated it was dealing with the "Marvel" superheroes Batman and Robin.
DC has a quick (too quick) opening montage at the beginning of many (all?) of their movies, both animated and live. The most noticeable image in the montage appears to be the Joker's face. It's so quick it's like they are embarrassed. They should take a cue from Marvel and include quick cuts of Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, and not so quick that they are missed. It's just like the Warner Bros cartoons in that a lot of people think they are from Disney.
Even though I hate the DC Peel, I thought they could use that new logo in animation to good effect. They could have different peels. Not quick cuts, but a slow peel of the logo that reveals the character underneath. That would help establish the association between that odd logo and the product they're selling. Right now, without anmation it looks like a logo for bandaids--the kind they use when they draw blood and they cover it with those little round bandaids.