Unless you’ve been living under a crash-landed Star Destroyer for the past 12 months, you may be aware there is a new Star Wars film coming out. But of course you know that. Ever since the teaser trailer debuted online over a year ago, it was obvious the film studios were not going to allow you to ignore the imminent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the seventh chapter in the ridiculously lucrative saga.
And what better way to maintain this state of constant brand awareness than by creating an elaborate marketing campaign that’s akin to an energy field that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together (look, it’s very difficult to write a Star Wars blog post without geeking out and dropping Jedi references)? As already proven by Jurassic World’s publicity stunts earlier this year, the film industry is increasingly resorting to engaging campaigns that create buzz across a variety of platforms (print, TV, digital and social) and having clients with pockets as deep as Disney and Lucasfilm means the Star Wars marketing team was always going to have a much bigger sandbox to play in.
For instance, in a bout of cleverly induced nostalgia, the new characters’ identities were revealed with a series of retro-looking Topps trading cards, bearing the same print design as the cards released ahead of the first Star Wars movie in 1977 (a move that no doubt went down well with long-time fans who saw the film when they were kids). In an odd case of generational mirroring, the millennials got their slice of marketing materials when batch of character posters were rolled out on various social media accounts a few months later.
Fast forward to the latter end of 2015 and the marketing machine has made the jump to light speed, as Star Wars taps into the younger demographic with a series of TV adverts, some Christmas-themed, others that might bring a tear to your eye (well, if you’re a parent). But perhaps the most impressive initiative has been undertaken by Google, which very recently introduced a number of customisation tools that asks users to pick the light or dark side of the force, tailoring their browsing experience accordingly.
All of which makes for great cross-platform promotion, but won’t it lead to a Star Wars overload? Of course not – there is no such thing as a Star Wars overload. See you in a galaxy far far away on December 18th!