Monday, September 7, 2015
The Marketing Force in Marketing the Force
From Disney and Hasbro to Toys 'R' Us, Target, and beyond, retail and manufacturing partners jumped on the Force Friday marketing bandwagon to market merchandise tied to the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, due for release in December.
Mattel, which is making Hot Wheels tie-ins, worked with Uber to send out Dodge Charger cars decorated like Storm Troopers so fans could ride in brand style. Even Major League Baseball got involved, with a light-saber duel after the first pitch in a NY Mets/Florida Marlins game on Friday.
Disney began its movie promotion a year in advance, and promoted #ForceFriday as only one in a series of marketing activities leading up to the new movie's debut. Social media was a huge element in Force Friday, including a coordinated multi-city "unboxing" event for YouTube.
Many stores (and websites) planned for midnight promotions, building buzz by including guest appearances and other special events tied to Force Friday. The stars of the show: New merchandise keyed to new characters and new technology to be fully revealed in the new movie. Brand community was a major part of the appeal to customers, with costumes and entertainment and photos and more. In short, the marketing force is strong for this new Star Wars movie and its merchandise.