As Star Wars the Force Awakens is about to come out, the cross promotions with branding is yielding a ton of amazing commercials, something that was missing from the prequels and even the marketing therein. I am an avowed Star Wars fan. The first movie I ever saw in the theater was Star Wars A New Hope in the summer of 1977. I saw the film in the theater over 100 times. We had the RCA video disc player, pre-VHS times, and it came with Star Wars as our free disc.
Now with Star Wars the Force Awakens, episode 7 about to come out in less than 2 months, I am excited, but it’s not the same. I’m in my 40’s now, although movies still bring out the youthful optimism, I have healthy skepticism where Star Wars is concerned.
I was overly excited for the prequels in 1999 (starting in 1997 when they were announced). I was disappointed, but unlike most people my age, I did not feel my childhood was “raped” and I hardly have animosity towards George Lucas. George is a greatly misunderstood guy. I am ambivalent about his involvement/non involvement. He spawned the entire pop culture idea of movie/product tie ins of the modern age.
What interests me is how with the Disney owned, corporate sponsorship and marketing blitz for products, it seems the ad agencies and commercials reflect a sentimentality for people like me, people who grew up loving Star Wars. Take a look at this ad for the video game”
And this commercial for batteries captures the spirit of my life from age 5-12
The biggest difference between now and 1999-2005 with the prequels was this sentimentality. It’s not just having the original cast and a lot of the original characters back. There is that intangible “feeling” beyond nostalgia. Capturing the spirit that the original Star Wars trilogy imbued in the audience has returned like a Jedi.
I think there are a lot of people like me making these TV spots for products and although I am not buying these things per se, the emotional resonance is definitely working.