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4 Marketing Lessons From The Star Wars Franchise. From Star Wars A New Hope to Rogue One.
If you are not a Star Wars fan, which is almost impossible considering growing up with unavoidable mentions of the light-saber, the force, and the dark lord, this blog will probably make you one.
We are going to tell you how George Lucas and now Disney, have been weaving a hypnotizing tale of the good vs bad around us and how it has a lot to do with marketing.
#1. In a galaxy far far away, someone knew what brand DNA was and stuck to it
So somethings work for your brand spontaneously. They just click. If you look at Coca Cola’s logo in isolation, the font does seem a little chunky and dated. We wouldn’t use a similar font for a logo design today. But it works for Coca-Cola brilliantly. They just make a few tweaks every now and then, but they don’t fiddle with what’s working and what the world already recognizes the brand with. Even if it is old and out of fashion.
Similarly, Star Wars movies always open with the classic text floating in a sky full of stars and with the Star Wars theme music playing behind. And the text most commonly opens with the sentence, ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away’. This sentence, the theme music and how the movie begins, are parts of the Star Wars brand DNA. And they never change it. That’s a lesson for us marketers, especially when we sit to revamp brands. We should always keep the most popular aspects intact and work our way around them because they are a part of the brand’s identity. Even when they’d seem outdated to a new brand, they might still be the most easily identified things for an old brand.
#2. Associating with cute, works.
Han Solo had Chewbacca, Rey has BB8, Luke Skywalker had R2D2 and now in Rogue One we get to see the rebel spy, Cassian Andor with the snappy K-2SO. One’s relationship with the other tells you more about both and hence, brings you closer to the characters.
There are two lessons here for marketing. Number 1 – Associating with other brands and organizations is great PR. It works for both and helps you piggyback on each other’s brand appeal.
Number 2 – Human friendships with cute innocent beings makes people tick. So if brands are trying to introduce dogs and cats in their stories, it’s because people like to see these relationships and it helps build a strong emotional connection.
That’s why when Instagram feeds show dogs and cats chilling at a brand’s headquarters, people love it! It shows a warm culture and when they see them around your product, it automatically makes your product look friendlier and reliable.
Remember how Budweiser got the puppy in its brand story in 2014. Here’s the 2015 Super Bowl commercial with the puppy again.
#3. No gizmos work without the drama
Star Wars is the single most money-making movie franchise ever. It has won 7 Oscars already and is more successful than James Bond or Harry Potter. Why, you ask? Emotions! It is not a mix of action and animated effects thrown into some drama. It is sheer drama and a play of emotions which also gets some action-packed sequences when needed. It is the story of a family, technically! With emotions like revenge, care, belongingness and power guiding it. And today, emotions are prime currency for advertising. That’s what consumers want.
Targeting emotions is possibly the best thing you can do with your brand strategy. Whatever you have in your brand story – action, product benefits or some ground-breaking technology, you have got to add emotions to it. We learned this from come popular Christmas campaigns too. But here is the best example we could think of – Google. Google didn’t advertise on television until it unleashed this spot during the Super Bowl 2014.
In 2016, Google has been raving about moments at every level. I-want-to-go moments, I-want-to-do moments, I-want-to-know moments etc. Google’s B2B campaigns are all about moments or emotions from everyday life. Look how it explains the ‘moments’ concepts to Google Partners like us and to marketers around the work with Think With Google’s youtube video. This is one part of a complete digital marketing campaign that Google has been promoting amongst Adwords, Google My Business, and Google Display Network users, primarily. And it is also extending this treatment to promoting it’s recently launched phone, Pixel.
#4. You should represent your target audience well
Some people just wait for the next Star Wars film to see the dark lord in action. They are die hard Darth Vader fans. But there are others who want to see Princess Leia and her story on Aldaran. And then there are those who want to see themselves in the story. People from all races and countries watch Star wars and they want the relate to the people on the screen. Which is why, in Star Wars – The Force Awakens and even in Rogue One, you’ll see a more culturally diverse cast. It gives the audience a chance to experience the story better. It feels possible and more intimate when you know that it includes someone like you.
Just like that, brands should include all their personas in their campaigns. Marketing by exclusion does exist but that’s when your brand doesn’t care about anyone else but that one group. For example, Lulu Lemon doesn’t want to talk to women who are trying to lose weight or struggling with their bodies. It wants to talk to fit women out there, doing things to keep themselves healthy and looking great too. But at the same time, it wants to represent every one of those women in its audience, from different cultural backgrounds.
Here’s one of it’s latest digital campaign promoting jackets. Notice how it perfectly represents the complete target market of Lululemon.
There are a few more lessons hidden in the Star Wars Movie Franchise, but these four, we thought were unique and interesting. If you have any to add to the list, please get social with us on Facebook or Twitter. Or leave your comments here.
If you want to sit and discuss Star Wars, marketing, and your business at length, please drop by our greenhouse or get in touch with us here. We’d love to help you grow your brand. May the force be with you!