New Marketing Firm to Target Coveted Comic Geek Demo

By Kiran Aditham 

With the goal being to connect brands with the Harry Knowles types of the world, marketing vets Ed Catto and Steve Rotterdam have launched a new firm called Bonfire (not to be confused with fellow NYC shop, Campfire). Considering the spate of comic books-turned-movies over the last several years and the rise of blogs like, the pair’s objective of targeting geek culture isn’t so far-fetched.

Catto and Rotterdam are calling those within this particular demo “firestarters,” because according to a statement from the latter, “These are hyper-networked consumers that film studios strive to connect with through events like the San Diego Comic-Con because their endorsement of a project, especially in its early stages, can generate serious heat that can propel a film to box office success or green light a second season for a TV series on the bubble.”


The pair do have some credentials to back them up, as Catto helped develop and market the New York Comic Con while Rotterdam worked in the marketing department at DC Comics. Of course, both men have some advertising stints on their resume as well, with Catto holding posts at Ogilvy’s 141 Worldwide, Unilever and Nabisco and Rotterdam serving as a CD in the promotional department at Saatchi & Saatchi.

Bonfire’s flagship clients, including Bonomo Turkish Taffy, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Reed Exhibition’s ReedPop group, don’t necessarily jump out at you, but hey, you have to start somewhere. On the plus side, Catto and Rotterdam have an investor in Eastwest Marketing Group, which has an equity stake in Bonfire and will provide office space as well as creative, account, production, web development and social media “specialists.”