With all the hype around the latest Star Wars film, it’s no surprise that savvy brands are using the series as a marketing tool. Bonfire Agency founding partner Ed Catto estimates that The Force Awakens generated more brand partnerships than any other movie.
“I’m not sure there is another brand that has the marketing might of Disney and the baked-in appeal of Star Wars,” he told Entrepreneur.
Many of the brands channeling “The Force” boast strong digital acumen, falling largely in the Gifted and Genius categories of L2’s Digital IQ Index. Here are a few of the most creative campaigns we’ve spotted:
1. CoverGirl (Gifted, Digital IQ Index: Beauty)
In September, CoverGirl launched a Star Wars-themed line of Beauty products, which it promoted on Snapchat. To deal with the platform’s inherent lack of metrics, the brand isolated 868 Ulta stores with branded geolocation filters: one for the “dark” side and one for the “light.” Any extra sales of the Star Wars Collection in those stores could then be attributed to the Snapchat filters.
Result: While no metrics around the study have been released, the brand reported that it had “more of an impact” than a 2013 Tumblr and TV campaign around the Hunger Games-themed collection.
2. Target (Gifted, Digital IQ Index: Big Box)
In August, Target launched “Share the Force,” a cross-platform campaign featuring a YouTube video series as well as a microsite where users could submit photos and videos for other fans to view and share. Site visitors selected a favorite character and then were taken to that character’s “galaxy,” where they were assigned unique “galactic coordinates” to share content from Facebook or Instagram and encouraged to view other users’ content and explore other character galaxies. Crucially, each page featured a bold call-to-action button linking to a Target.com page where licensed Star Wars products could be purchased.
Result: The L2 study finds that the campaign significantly boosted engagement, helping Target beat out other Big Box retailers for fourth place.
3. Kraft (Genius, Digital IQ Index: Food)
In October, the brand launched a Star Wars-themed series of its iconic macaroni and cheese, depicting the shapes of Yoda, Darth Vader, R2D2, C3PO, and an X-wing fighter. In addition to running TV commercials and print ads, Kraft launched an interactive website where users could scrutinize some of the collectibles displayed in the TV spots.
Result: The ads resonated with consumers, with the “Can’t Play” video becoming the third most-liked Star Wars ad.