Star Wars changed the film marketing forever. Before thismovie, instead of harnessing merchandising power and pre-existing fan bases,movies existed on their own creative merit, looking strictly to the box officeto make the big bucks.
But in 1978, everything changed when a marketingjuggernaut was born. For their branding, they have been leveraging everythingfrom burgers to vacations. In its starting days, Star Wars was co-promoted with BurgerKing through commercials and merchandising. The toys included many maincharacters including those from the infamous Cantina scene.
When the secondinstalment was released, the company, Kenner, to which the toy merchandisingrights were sold to, used direct mail marketing to promote the toys. Shortly in a while, Star Wars becomes an amusement parkattraction, debuting in Disneyland and now operating in Disneyland Paris afterits close in America in 2010. As the first week Star Wars TV series “The CloneWars” started running, the animated kids’ show came into light to this day onCartoon Network, maintaining viewership from younger audiences.Continuing with the branding strategies, in 2011, Volkswagenreleased its first in a series of Star Wars-themed commercials, called “Force”,which was intended to be released as a Super Bowl Ad. In 2012, Disney acquiredLucasfilm Ltd. This acquisition put the branding power of Disney behind theStar Wars franchise, opening opportunities for TV shows, merchandising andtheme park concepts.
Walt Disney Studios and Lucasfilm released a digitalcollection of the first six movies in 2015, remastered in high definition,through Amazon and iTunes in April. Co-branded promotions for The Force Awakensincluded TV commercials for Kohl’s Black Friday sales and Verizon.The customer target were Star Wars fans from 4 to 94 yearsold. An interactive website was unveiled as a tribute to Star Wars fans. Inaddition to the website, an in-store space called “Shop the Force” was opened wherelicensed Star Wars gear and merchandise are sold.Disney has been ramping up its marketing efforts for the StarWars brand.
Through an integrated brand strategy and global partnerships,Disney created a multi-dimensional promotional platform for Star Wars. Disneyis featuring the Star Wars brand through many different mediums such asmerchandise, films, and digital platforms.The branding of Star Wars has many aspects to it. Some ofthem are –· Simplicity – The central premise of the Star Warsfilms is simple: good Vs evil, and they stick to it as their recipe forsuccess. George Lucas believed to keep the brand strategy understandable andsimple and don’t over-complicate itKeepthe brand strong – Star Wars being a strong brand with prequels and sequels,there is a strong enough central brand strategy, which can allow them todeviate from the main campaign, targeting different markets effectively withtheir own unique proposition.