This weekend saw the celebration of International Star Wars Day, May the Fourth. Over the past few years, marketers have geared up to pay tribute to the infamous movie series by creating campaigns around the day. And this year was no exception, especially with the new instalment around the corner and the opportunity to pay tribute to Peter Mayhew.
Pizza Hut partnered with author Tom Angleberger to promote his series Origami Yoda with 35% off all menu-priced pizzas. Build a Bear gave customers up to 50% off when customers picked a Star Wars-themed bear. And Disney gave customers a free The Phantom Menace poster with any purchase made in store on the day.
While these, and others, are obviously fun, the question is are these campaigns really effective? The short answer is yes if marketers are clear on the objective and what success looks like. While these campaigns may seem small and focused on offers and prices, it’s much more than that. These brands are tapping into common ground with something customers already love. Linking a brand to a universally loved movie franchise is an easy way to connect with customers and guarantees increased engagement. There is also then the potential opportunity to boost sales.
A word of warning though. Brands and marketers need to be careful not to get it wrong. True fans are offended by inaccuracies and a small mistake could impact the brand. Black Milk, an Australian clothing retailer celebrated May the Fourth a few years ago with an Expectation vs Reality Meme. The Reality Meme was Mayim Bialik's character in "The Big Bang Theory” dressed in a Star Trek outfit, not Stars Wars. The brand was forced to issue a public apology.
Linking a brand to a universally loved movie franchise is an easy way to connect with customers and guarantees increased engagement.