Star Wars Marketers Had the Force on Their Side

I’ve finally made it to the movie theatre this Sunday morning to watch The Force Awakens. Filled with a little boy’s excitement, I couldn’t help but to reflect on this massive franchise’s marketing push. I grew up watching this movie since the day I could spell Yoda, and am a big fan.

But if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t help but to notice that the hype surrounding this one was different. The movie so far has shattered every box office’s revenue records since records began, setting the bar so high that I feel bad for other movie makers out there.

I’ve recently written an article about the marketing lessons we could learn from a movie. But in this instance, the lessons are modern & fundamental. They enjoy certain characteristics in terms of execution. The marketing machine behind the The Force Awakens kicked up a storm and got into so many different gears with such a relentless effort; an effort that would make Darth Vader blush. It was sickening.

What these star wars marketing Jedis have done was that they’ve tapped into a two-speed marketing tactic. As you know am quite big on brand storytelling, where even the audience takes part in marketing, giving them ownership, building loyalty and a cult like momentum. This two speed marketing teqnuique is just absolutely vital to enable this process to successfuly take place.

As explained by @Heather Levy, this modern two-speed marketing approach is a response for the current following trends:

  1. Multidimensional strategies
  2. Changing media consumption
  3. “Always-on” digital channels
  4. Democratization of content

Each of these areas deserve an article in it’s own right, but for today’s article sake, I’ll keep things on the birds eye view level.

To elaborate further on what this means, imagine your traditional marketing campaign being your first gear or first speed. You’ve got your traditional channels advertising using TV, radio….etc. But that’s no longer enough or effective anymore. It doesn’t encourage engagement. It’s hardly enough for a brand storytelling, and it’s still focused on selling your product. It’s push marketing, which is doomed and destined for failure if it’s the only speed you’ve got.

Now comes your gear shift into the second speed, which is enabled by the abundance of digital and social channels, where content and brand storytelling thrives. This is where your wet dream lives. This is where your audience takes part in even generating hype about your brand. They generate content, stories and opinions about your brand and you just become an editor and moderator.

A successful two-speed marketing should make sure these approaches are perfectly running in sync and harmony feeding off each other, and this is what this Star Wars marketing have done so well. They’ve raised so much hype and so many questions between traditional advertising campaigns, that you’d have to be dead not to have heared about it.

So consider a second speed for your marketing strategy, where continuous storytelling and audience engagement is the main focus, and watch the hype around your brand grow. Mapping out your traditional marketing in advance will help you visualise how your second speed marketing could multiply it’s impact.

You shouldn’t be selling your product anymore, simply because we the audience don’t buy that anymore. We buy feelings, we buy stories about people and connections. These are your brand catalysts, so go ahead and shift into that second gear, maybe the force will favor you.

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