May the Force Be With Your Marketing

Obi-Wan Kenobi
Image courtesy Lucasfilm
If you didn’t know a new Star Wars movie is releasing in theaters this week, then you might have been living in a cave on Tatooine for the last few years. Even though Disney has been taking it relatively easy on the direct marketing of its shiny new franchise, it would be quite the challenge to avoid hearing about the newest chapter of the galactic saga.

We’ve been preparing our Jedi robes and Stormtrooper armor for the big premiere, and that got us thinking about some things we as marketers can learn from some of the original Star Wars characters. Whether you want your campaign to be wise and calculating like Obi-Wan Kenobi or brash and wild like Han Solo, we have some tips for using the Force when it comes to your marketing.

Han Solo

This scruffy-looking smuggler might not be especially charming, but he certainly has some suave characteristics. His bravado frequently puts him in tricky situations — whether he’s dodging bounty hunters or trying to earn Princess Leia’s affection — but he always finds a way to meet his goals.

Han Solo is like your unconventional marketing campaigns that might not always make sense at first but work out in the end. Take for example Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign. The commercials can be a bit weird, but Old Spice connected with consumers like never before because of the buzz they created. There’s always an element of risk when you do something different but there’s something lovable about those wild ideas. And when they work, they can steal the show.

Obi-Wan Kenobi

Like we said before, Obi-Wan is wise and calculating. In many ways he is the anti-Han Solo in that every decision he makes is carefully calculated. Even when he finds himself in trouble (like when he crossed lightsabers with Darth Vader in “A New Hope”) he knows the incident will serve a purpose. In the aforementioned case, he gave Han Solo and the gang time to escape, which ultimately led to the successful destruction of a deadly space station.

Making wise decisions like Obi-Wan when it comes to your marketing campaigns is a crucial part of finding success. While Obi-Wan had the Force to help guide him, you can use TFNs to track the effectiveness of your campaigns or analytics tools that track online to offline conversions so you know what campaigns are working. That knowledge can help you make wise decisions when it comes to planning future campaigns.

Princess Leia

The first movie’s damsel in distress might seem to be just that on the surface, but it became clear that she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty in the other films of the original trilogy. Leia provided leadership during the Imperial invasion of Hoth in “Empire Strikes Back” and donned a disguise in “Return of the Jedi” in an attempt to save Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt. She might be royalty, but she’s a spunky woman that gets things done.

We’re not saying your campaigns are in distress. Our point is that you can’t sit back and just expect to have great marketing success just because you had success in the past. Sometimes you’ll have to dive in and get your hands dirty with a new strategy that goes against the grain. T-Mobile’s "Un-Carrier" campaign is a perfect example of that. T-Mobile was an established cellular service provider but was losing market share before it shook things up with its campaign in 2013. They quickly became a major player in the market again and are still having success with the strategy change.

Does the new Star Wars movie have you feeling nostalgic? Check out our post “What These Digital Heroes Can Teach Us About Digital Marketing” to get another dose of your childhood.