Pre-note to all fleet junkies, Jedis and other Star Wars fans: If you haven’t yet seen Star Wars The Force Awakens, this post won’t spoil the movie in any way. But it might just spoil your opinion on any other movie marketing campaign ever made.
About a year ago I made a post on how Star Wars is already winning at social media even though it was yonks away from being released. But did that marketing success carry on up until the release? You tell me.
The trailer has been renown as being one of the best trailers ever released even though it reveals essentially nothing about the movie. Why? Because it reveals nothing! The latest Star Wars movie is full of twists, special effects and hilarious gags, none of which are spoiled in the trailers. The only way you can spoil it is by seeing the movie yourself.
Movie marketers have become lazy. They think the only way to convince an audience to watch their movie is to put the best gags and most crucial scenes in the trailer. This hollow overview makes audiences disappointed after the movie. Then comments are made like “the trailer was better than the movie!” all because the trailer was like a 2 minute version of the movie without the hundrum of plot development.
Take for example the trailer for the latest Captain America movie. Do you feel the need to watch this movie? No, not really.
Did you notice the overload of R2D2’s everywhere over the last few months? Star Wars infiltrated everything. Do you want a limited edition R2D2 motorcycle helmet?
Not your cup of tea? Then try a limited edition Darth Vader Espresso chocolate.
Not game? Then try a limited edition Star Wars Playstation4 on for size.
I think you get the idea: Star Wars is everywhere. Even unexpected places. So how exactly does this work? Star Wars is a big name franchise. As broad as their following is, they are also loyal. So with such a broad and loyal following, why would Star wars even need to partner with so many products?
Quite simply they don’t. It’s not a need at all for them. But it has helped expand their fanbase and tap into all sorts of niches. Perhaps Star Wars is out for world domination. Perhaps they’re just out to sell a good movie. Either way, their merchandising is incredibly successful.
The social media
And finally, what bought us to this topic in the first place: The Force Awakens social media strategy. As you may have noted, Star Wars chose to hashtag #Theforceawakens in their trailer. Their Twitter strategy has been raid and destroy. They have tweeted up a storm since 2009 with over 27,000 tweets. Their 2.02 million followers is also nothing to snuff at.
Fans get treated to all manner of things in 140 characters or less. Behind the scenes, making their own lightsabers, promotional partners and competitions. Star Wars has always been more than a movie: it’s a community. But that community has dwindled down and died between the disjointed first and last three episodes. But finally, thanks to social media, that army is being reborn and reconnected.