To me Star Wars is more than a movie franchise. It’s what sparked my imagination and curiosity growing up. It made me want to learn more about space, it made me wonder about all of the exciting ‘what ifs’. It solidified my love for science, art, design, and great stories.
But why has it been so impactful, and why am I not alone in feeling this way?
It’s because the Star Wars universe and story feels real. When you watch A New Hope, it doesn’t matter that it has happened a “long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”. Every scene from the dialog to the wardrobe, from the droids to the ships, feels real. It is this perfection that makes Star Wars becomes your story and it is this response that enabled the franchise to create such a mass following; while still feeling so personal to the person experiencing it.
The brand strategy and marketing behind Star Wars sets the highest standard for creating impactful messaging through emotional appeal; an undeniable success in meshing an artificial world’s zeitgeist with that of the present, real world.
Because Star Wars appeals to one’s emotions, it’s easy to leverage this for marketing many different products and services. Yet we never tire of it – in fact, a mundane commercial is at once renewed again by inserting Star Wars into it. This is because emotional advertising isn’t a direct sales tactic – it’s a phsychological one that gets under your skin and speaks to the parts in your brain that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Take Sony Playstation’s 2015 commercial for Battlefront: it transforms the viewer from a monotonous day at the office to the memories of childhood, and it does so in under a minute! In a sense Sony is selling you your childhood imagination and carefree world, and that’s quite personal.
Playstation Holiday Commerical - Star Wars Battlefront
Another incredible example is Wal-Mart’s commercial for Star Wars: showing parents explaining and experiencing the story of Star Wars, and its characters to their children. The viewer immediately sees themselves there, getting to share their excitement and wonder all over again with a young child. It takes us back to childhood and our limitless imaginations – beyond space, time, work, responsibilities and real life. And just like that, an average Wal-Mart commercial is now a powerful reminder of our childhood and how it will transcend through the generations beneath us.
Walmart Commerical - Growing Up with Star Wars
I woke up this past Christmas to Kylo Ren’s lightsaber and proceeded to wield it around all morning because it did make me feel like a kid again. Call me a nerd all you want, but the fans understand. Star Wars is more than a movie. It represents our imagination, our story, and the emotional marketing that makes it so impactful and personal.
I leave you now with wise words from Yoda:
“Do or do not, there is no try.”
It doesn’t get more personal than that.