It feels like 90% of people on this planet have already watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It is one of the biggest films to hit theaters and die hard fans of all generations are preparing mentally and physically to push themselves through the throng of other Star Wars fanatics into the theater seats and then repeat the cycle for the next few days.
With a loyal global fan base such as this, Disney would be crazy to not take this advantage of this mayhem to do some intense marketing … and so they did.
Marketing for the movie actually started a year ago with an 88-second teaser to rev up the anticipation, and then two full-length trailers after that. Like breadcrumbs leading to the gingerbread house, each TV spot got subsequently longer and revealed a tidbit more of the movie plot. Then the marketing kicked into high gear. Within all the talk show rounds, interviews in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair magazines, and events such as Comic-Con and Star Wars celebration, they unveiled more and more film details, but cunningly enough to not give the whole plot away.
Timing is everything for promoting a film, and Star Wars was to fall nicely right before the holiday season so you can imagine the flood of Star Wars merchandise and clothing at toy stores and retailers. Black Friday who? It’s all about “Force Friday!” Being able to partner with Disney during this crucial time is a victory, as we have seen with big brands such as Covergirl, Duracell, Subway and Verizon with their limited edition products and ads that deliver exclusive content from the film.
Then there is social media. Usually on these platforms, fans would be combusting with excitement over the film, sharing theories, fan art, and etc. with each other. Now, the Disney company carefully curated the content to be delivered each day that will reveal pieces of the story and created hot trending topics… #WhereIsLukeSkyWalker?
With a huge franchise as this, one would think that there wouldn’t need to be much promotion on Disney’s part, because after all, everyone already knows Disney and everyone already knows Star Wars. Through the years of anticipation, fans are craving to know what’s going to happen in the new film. So building marketing strategies around the mysterious plot is how Disney succeeded for this marketing mania.