Celebrate May the 4th With Some of Our Favorite Star Wars Promotional Marketing Stories
It's May the 4th, aka Star Wars Day! This morning, Promo Marketing's resident nerds celebrated by sharing our favorite Star Wars moments (and not-so-favorites) and talking for way, way too long about Star Wars names. Yes, there was an Elan Sleazebaggano reference. Yes, that's a real Star Wars character. Yes, we are ashamed that we knew that.
— Star Wars (@starwars) May 4, 2018
In the spirit of the holiday, we figured we'd round up some of the recent Star Wars stories we've covered on our site. George Lucas practically invented movie merchandising, so it's always fun and illuminating to peek under the hood of the grand Star Wars promotional marketing machine and see what it's doing and if there are any lessons we can learn.
If you're feeling festive, check out the following stories and see if there's something you like. Or, as Yoda would say, read on, you must! Eh heh heh heh heh!
Disney is billing the new Star Wars lands at its California and Florida theme parks as interactive, immersive experiences where guests are meant to feel like they're part of the galaxy far, far away. The Mouse is really committing to the idea, too, scrapping its usual branded park merchandise blitz in favor of "mock-authentic items from actors portraying aliens and craftsmen," as our own Tom Higgins put it.
Disney announced in March it would partner with Solo, the revered red party cup purveyor, for co-branded cups to promote the Han Solo movie. This was so obvious we'd have been disappointed if it didn't happen. Good work, all involved.
Ever want to dress like your favorite Rebel Alliance heroes did in the iconic Hoth sequence from The Empire Strikes Back? Of course you did! And so did a lot of other people, apparently, because these Star Wars inspired jackets sold out faster than Lando when he turned in his pals to the Empire on Cloud City.
The Star Wars galaxy has plenty of weird-looking aliens, but it's also full of cute little Ewoks, Porgs, droids and other adorable critters. (Who wouldn't want a big bear hug from Chewbacca?) Lucas knew then what Disney knows now: cute sells. And Star Wars has always played up its cuddly characters in its promotional marketing and merchandising, to maximum effect.
Even without the stats, we could have told you that licensed promotions featuring some of the hottest pop culture properties out there were marketing gold. But data is always good, and SportsBusiness Journal served it up with a comprehensive look at MLB team promos. Not surprisingly, Star Wars giveaways yield consistently excellent results.