|Genre||Fictional news program|
|Created by||Marvel Studios|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Production company(s)||Marvel Studios|
|Original release||July 2, 2015 –|
May 3, 2016
WHIH Newsfront is a faux American current affairs digital series serving as the center of several viral marketing campaigns for Marvel Studios. Based on the fictional television network WHIH World News that appears throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the YouTube videos began as marketing for the film Ant-Man, and deal with major events depicted in the MCU's films and television series. The videos were created by Marvel Studios in partnership with Google.
The news program features Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart, reprising her role from the MCU films, with Al Madrigal portraying political correspondent Will Adams. Several other actors reprise their roles from the films, while archival footage of others is also used. The initial videos were released during July 2015, focusing on the immediate aftermath of Avengers: Age of Ultron while leading up to the events of Ant-Man. More were released beginning in April 2016 as a WHIH Newsfront Special Report, focusing on the Avengers and the political issues surrounding them as part of a similar viral marketing campaign for the film Captain America: Civil War.
The videos are accompanied by additional marketing materials, such as in-universe web articles and social media posts. The series has been received positively, seen as better than average viral marketing campaigns, and as a fun and insightful expansion of the MCU for fans of the franchise.
Ant-Man campaign (2015)
|Title||Guest(s)||Original air date||Runtime|
|1||1||"WHIH Newsfront Promo"||None||July 2, 2015||0:28|
|Christine Everhart runs down the upcoming week's main stories.|
|2||2||"WHIH Newsfront Top Stories"||None||July 7, 2015||1:20|
|Christine Everhart discusses the ongoing relief efforts in Sokovia, and the upcoming release of corporate criminal Scott Lang.|
|3||3||"WHIH EXCLUSIVE: 2012 VistaCorp break-in security footage involving cyber-criminal Scott Lang"||None||July 11, 2015||1:48|
|Security footage featuring Lang's VistaCorp break in, for which he was arrested and imprisoned.|
|4||4||"WIRED Insider Interviews Darren Cross, CEO of Pym Technologies"||Corey Stoll as Darren Cross||July 13, 2015||2:36|
|An interview with Pym Technologies CEO Darren Cross, concerning the future of his company.|
|5||5||"WHIH EXCLUSIVE: Scott Lang Interview"||Paul Rudd as Scott Lang||July 16, 2015||3:23|
|Christine Everhart interviews Scott Lang via video from San Quentin Prison ahead of his release.|
Captain America: Civil War campaign (2016)
|Title||Guest(s)||Original air date||Runtime|
|6||1||"AVENGERS IMPACT: A WHIH Newsfront Special Report"||None||April 22, 2016||2:22|
|Christine Everhart and political correspondent Will Adams discuss the Avengers and whether they require governmental oversight to prevent further collateral damage.|
|7||2||"WHIH Newsfront: The Cost of Saving the World"||None||April 26, 2016||1:41|
|Christine Everhart and Will Adams discuss whether the Avengers or taxpayers should pay for damages caused by the Avengers' saving the world, an issue upon which public response is divided.|
|8||3||"WHIH Newsfront: The Avengers and The White House"||None||April 28, 2016||3:12|
|Christine Everhart and Will Adams discuss President Matthew Ellis's stance on the Avengers, and the increasing political activity of Thaddeus Ross following his retirement from the military.|
|9||4||"WHIH Newsfront Exclusive: President Ellis Discusses the Avengers"||William Sadler as Matthew Ellis||May 3, 2016||3:14|
|Christine Everhart and Will Adams interview President Matthew Ellis about his decision to nominate Thaddeus Ross for the position of United States Secretary of State, and about his stance on the Avengers.|
|10||5||"WHIH Breaking News: Attack in Lagos"||William Sadler as Matthew Ellis||May 3, 2016||3:06|
|Christine Everhart and Will Adams go live with breaking news of an attack in Lagos, and cross to the President's live statement on the situation.|
Cast and characters
- Leslie Bibb as Christine Everhart: The WHIH Newsfront presenter. Bibb reprises her role from the Iron Man films.
- Al Madrigal as Will Adams: WHIH Newsfront's political correspondent.
Also reprising his role from the films is William Sadler as President Matthew Ellis, while Paul Rudd and Corey Stoll as Scott Lang and Darren Cross, respectively, appear before their appearances in Ant-Man. Additionally, WIRED Insider presenter James Rondell appears as himself, and a WHIH reporter based on the character Jackson Norris briefly appears; the latter is a separate character from the similarly named Jackson Norriss, who appears in the Marvel One-Shot short film All Hail the King portrayed by Scoot McNairy.
In June 2015, Leslie Bibb revealed that she was involved in a new project for Marvel Studios, reprising her role of Christine Everhart from Iron Man and Iron Man 2. The next week, the project was revealed to be part of a viral marketing campaign for the Marvel film Ant-Man with the reveal of a faux news program, WHIH Newsfront with Christine Everhart, an extension of the fictional television network WHIH World News which is depicted reporting on major events in many MCU films and television series.
Bibb returned as Everhart, and was joined by Al Madrigal as WHIH political correspondent Will Adams, for a WHIH Newsfront Special Report as part of a similar campaign in April 2016 in the lead up to the film Captain America: Civil War. The report focuses on the opposing sides of Civil War's central conflict, with Everhart supporting governmental oversight and accountability for superheroes, and Adams willing to let the Avengers do what is necessary to save the world. The opinion of the MCU public is also depicted as divided between the two sides.
Marvel partnered with Google to produce the videos, which deal with the aftermath of Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the buildup to Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War, while featuring numerous easter eggs to the MCU, including a news ticker that mentions MCU characters and events such as Jane Foster, the death of Wolfgang von Strucker, and Dr. Stephen Strange. In addition to archive footage from the films, the videos also use original material and "footage showing what these fights and their aftermaths look [like] from the civilian perspective".
The videos are made available on the WHIH World News' YouTube channel, with some of them debuting in publications such as Mashable, BuzzFeed, and WIRED Insider. The Ant-Man campaign videos also appear as bonus features on that film's Blu-ray release.
Other content released for the viral marketing campaigns include ongoing posts on social media sites such as Twitter and Google+, as well as a full length piece on Mashable, attributed to Everhart, that serves as a companion to the videos. More focus was placed on social media for the 2016 return, with tweets released to celebrate Earth Day, with reference to Stark Industries and Pepper Potts, and to mark the end of the clean up of Washington, D.C. following the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with quotes from MCU politicians such as President Ellis used.
Oliver Lyttelton of IndieWire called the campaign, "one of the cannier bits of marketing that Marvel have come up with", saying that "it’s not particularly funny, but fans will definitely enjoy it." CinemaBlend's Adam Holmes noted how the videos were able to give insight the rest of the MCU and its population's perception of the films' events. Matthew Mueller at ComicBook.com said, "As far as viral marketing goes, this is definitely one of the more well-produced campaigns," and noted, "In our 24-hour news cycle, the smallest abnormal occurrence can spawn countless hours of coverage....so it stands to reason that multiple superhero related catastrophes would also warrant that kind of coverage."
Alanna Smith, writing for Geek Chic Elite, stated, "When I found out about this channel I couldn’t help but laugh out of disbelief and awe towards the Marvel team. I mean come on, real online broadcasts of the news channel that it turns out has been there from the start, and it’s hosted by the same side character (whom we probably didn’t even think would be back) from the startup MCU film made 7 years ago? When Marvel says "It’s All Connected" they don’t mess around; they really mean everything." Sean K. Cureton of Screen Rant found the videos to be "in keeping with the willingness on the part of Marvel Studios to poke fun at some of the more vocal complaints frequently raised against the action-centric nature of the MCU, and the entire superhero film genre by default. At the same time, in incorporating the real world dialogue regarding the ridiculous levels of structural damage inflicted on various metropolitan settings, [the franchise] sets itself apart through a coy flirtation in engaging the discussion."
- Collinson, Gary (July 2, 2015). "Leslie Bibb's Christine Everhart returns in Ant-Man viral video, plus new featurette". Flickering Myth. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Garcia, James (June 25, 2015). "Iron Man actress Leslie Bibb teases return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe". Flickering Myth. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Lesnick, Silas (April 22, 2016). "WHIH News Returns for Civil War Viral Video!". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Lesnick, Silas (May 3, 2016). "WHIH Sits Down With Marvel Cinematic Universe President Ellis". SuperHeroHype. Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- Fischer, Ross; Sciretta, Peter (July 16, 2015). "'Ant-Man' Viral: Interviews With Scott Lang and Pym Technologies CEO Darren Cross". /Film. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- WHIH World News (May 3, 2016). WHIH Breaking News: Attack in Lagos. YouTube. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- "Watch: Captain America: Civil War "Attack In Lagos" Viral Clip". Cosmic Book News. May 3, 2016. Archived from the original on May 4, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
- Gallagher, Brian (February 25, 2014). "Marvel Previews 'Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King'". MovieWeb. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
- Smith, Alanna (July 19, 2015). "WHiH Newsfront is a Real Marvel Cinematic Universe News Channel". Geek Chic Elite. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Mueller, Matthew (April 22, 2016). "Marvel Releases WHIH Report On Avengers Impact". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Cureton, Sean K. (April 26, 2016). "Captain America 3 Viral Video: The Cost of Saving the World". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on April 28, 2016. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
- Strom, Marc (July 31, 2015). "Marvel & Google Take You Deeper Into the World of 'Ant-Man'". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Holmes, Adam (April 22, 2016). "New Fictional News Report Sets Up The World Of Captain America: Civil War". CinemaBlend.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- Cavanaugh, Patrick (October 16, 2015). "Marvel's 'Ant-Man' Comes to Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- "Confessions of a whistleblower". Mashable. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.
- WHiH Newsfront [@@WHIHOfficial] (April 29, 2016). "Cleanup of Washington D.C. post-destruction of Triskelion complete. #WHIH" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016 – via Twitter.
- WHiH Newsfront [@@WHIHOfficial] (April 29, 2016). "PRES. ELLIS: "Today is a day that demonstrates the true colors of the people of Washington D.C."" (Tweet). Archived from the original on April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016 – via Twitter.
- Lyttelton, Oliver (July 17, 2015). "Viral Video Prequel To 'Ant-Man' Sees An Old MCU Character Return, Peyton Reed Hints At Sequel Plot". IndieWire. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2016.