Let me start off by saying I’ve never watched any of the Star Wars films and I’m not exactly yearning for the release of the latest one with high anticipation, but with all the hype and co-branding happening in the galaxy right now, it’s proving hard to ignore it. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is predicted to be the biggest movie of the year, launching it into the global spotlight and into a prime position for starting a global conversation amongst its estimated 147 million fans.
The universal conversation around its release has seen a number of brands jumping on the Star Wars bandwagon by co-branding their products, some even producing limited edition products, and marketing their brand name right alongside the Star Wars one. The use of co-branding isn’t unfamiliar in the advertising world, but to me it appears this time it’s on steroids. It seems like there is no limit to where the Star Wars name will next show up, as internationally renowned brands like Dodge, Campbell’s and even Cover Girl, are tapping into the 37 billion dollar franchise and leveraging off its deep, cross-generational appeal to sell more products. The Duracell ad in particular caught my attention, not because of the Star Wars theme, but because they’ve managed to shift a product like batteries from mundane to magnificent. By using real characters and props from the film, Duracell have instilled creativity and hours of inventive play not only into the minds of kids, but parents too (plus, they’re the ones who buy batteries after all). And even more impressive, they managed to tie Christmas morning celebrations into it as well!
So it’s clear that everyone is using the full force of the franchise’s influence on modern culture and relying solely on the power of fandom as a platform to gain global exposure, but is it all too much? Has the market been oversaturated with Star Wars themed products and advertisements? In my opinion (as a non-fan), yes. But I’ve only just found out that The Force Awakens is only part one of a trilogy… so even when all the excitement dies down, we won’t have to wait long for the marketing phenomenon to ramp up again in time for the release of part two in 2017 and the final instalment in 2019. Looks like I should start getting used to Star Wars themed everything!
P.S. For those of you living under a moon rock, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out in cinemas tomorrow (December 17).
Matilda Klaebe is an Account Service Intern at BCM