The Christmas and New Year’s holidays might be right around the corner, but there’s a frenzy of people around the world putting their holiday plans on hold for a weekend in order to attend a different celebration. I’m talking, of course, about the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
As the movie’s release is tomorrow, I feel as though it’s my duty as a Star Wars fan to find some way to write a blog about the advertising craze that has been the Star Wars mania the last few months.
Whether you’re a life-long fan who waited in line for the 1977 debut of the original Star Wars or a young padawan just learning the ways of the force, the buzz of the new movie is indeed an “awakening” for generations of fans looking to return to the world of lightsabers and Stormtroopers.
Even if you’re not as well versed in the ways of the Jedi and couldn’t care less about the new movie, what you can’t deny is the flood of advertisements Disney and other companies have produced to capitalize on recognizable images of the Star Wars franchise. Google Chrome even came out with a free extension app that warns you about websites that discuss the new movie to prevent spoilers.
The Wall Street Journal reported in a recent article that 19 companies have been running Star Wars-themed advertisements and have spent almost $60 million to promote their products. These companies include the brands Subway, Jeep, Verizon, and even GoGurt. All of these companies are looking to benefit from the hype surrounding the new movie…. And it’s working. As I mention in one of my previous blogs, 3 Tips to Create Better Content, being relevant with your advertisements is a highly effective way to spread the word about your business.
Let’s take a look some of the companies that succeeded in connecting their brands to the world of Star Wars. Here are five of the most popular ads that companies have created to spread the name of their products.
#1 – HP: “Reinventing Romance with R2-D2”
This is a heartwarming tale of a boy asking out a girl via a homemade R2-D2. Everyone’s favorite robot melted our hearts with its beeps and whistles in the movies and it continues to stir romance in this advertisement for HP computers.
#2 – Duracell: “Battle For Christmas Morning”
We’ve all done it. Whether it’s a broken off tree branch or an empty wrapping paper roll, we’ve all pretended to wield one of the galaxy’s most famous weapons – the lightsaber. Duracell Batteries takes us into the imaginative minds of two young Jedis in this ad.
#3 – Kraft: “Can’t Play”
I like to call myself a “low-budget Star Wars fan” which means I can stand toe to toe with most hard-core fans, but I lack the financial resources to support a room full of Star Wars memorabilia. This ad for Kraft is the collection all of us fans dream of.
#4 – Subway: “The Subway Cantina”
This ad features a collection of iconic Star Wars aliens and villains mingling at the galaxy’s local subway. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never walking into a room and had the jukebox skip and everyone turns to look at me, but I image it going something like this.
#5 – Toys R Us: “Like Father, Like Daughter”
The Star Wars franchise has established itself has a cross-generational sensation for all ages. This Toys R Us advertisement chronicles the process of a father passing his love for the Star Wars to his daughter. There has never been a more perfect time to use the phrase, “I am your father.”
Each of these ads contain three elements that make them resonate with not only Star Wars fans, but the general public as well. First, each ad is centered around Star Wars. This makes the ad relevant to the time. No matter if you’re a fan of the movies or not, you know about the upcoming release of the new movie, and each of these ads capitalize on the hysteria created by the Star Wars community. Second, each ad contains an element of humor. Using humor in ads is a great way to not only spread the word about your brand, but also make your ads memorable. Finally, product placement. In each ad, the product isn’t front and center, this is almost a subliminal technique to raise awareness about your product.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has prompted businesses to jump on board with Star Wars themed ads. But in all the mess of advertisements there is valuable lessons to learn as well. Make your ads relevant, include humor when you can, and feature your products at the right time. So get out there are start creating great ads.
And I have to say it – May the force be with you!
I had to throw this one in as well. It’s one of my favorites and we’ve all tried to use the force at one point or another when no ones was looking.