Every Star Wars movie makes a loud entrance to the marketing world. You can’t help noticing ubiquitous storm-troopers, Darth Vader allusions, and, certainly, lightsabers all over online banners. Should this Star Wars epidemic surprise seasoned marketers? Well, taking into consideration audience excitement and sales opportunities, revolving around such a highly anticipated release as Star Wars, we shouldn’t be surprised.
So, before Star Wars: The Last Jedi weekend box office results are revealed, we have time to think it over and find out how we could copy Star Wars $7bn marketing success without spending the entire GDP of a small country and staying on the “light” side of the law.
Make them curious!
No point in arguing, Star Wars marketing campaign was all about teasing the audience: unexpected plot twists, featured in trailers, well-thought social media campaign, and behind-the-scenes videos. Marketing team did a really good job of keeping us guessing.
How can we apply it to a smaller-scale advertising campaign? Say you have a new product launch, try to build anticipation by demonstrating, how much effort you put into developing of this product, or show a glimpse of a new functionality.
In other words, it’s all about visuals. Business2Community research revealed that “visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, which means you can paint a picture for your audience much faster with an actual picture.”
— Star Wars (@starwars) December 12, 2017
What are the best tools for building anticipation?
- Native Video Ads (also known as pre-roll) – try using videos that match your audience’s interests. Even though video ads are quite pricey to make, they have one of the highest ROI in the industry and are the best to replicate eye-popping Star Wars effects.
- Page skins – are an ultimate “Hype” tool. Nothing says “Big launch” quite like a page skin. This ad format is probably an absolute eCommerce favorite as it creates an all-compassing ad experience. Your client won’t be able to miss it!
Reach them directly!
What’s peculiar about this year’s Star Wars campaign, is that Disney marketing team decided to stick with local marketing instead of going for a nationwide campaign. Fans can explore the “galaxy far, far away” through augmented reality games and mobile apps, which can be used to discover clues about the new film.
This move reflects a major marketing shift from generalized marketing to customer-centric campaigns. Even more convenient for small business, right?
What tools can you use to reach your customers?
- Mobile push notifications – send short messages directly to your users’ mobiles. While this ad format is extremely easy to integrate into your website, it allows you to reach your customers right where they are. Just like Star Wars marketing team did.
- Dialogue ads – a very friendly ad format that is displayed to a user as a dialogue box inside an app. The key here is to target the right audience. If you’ve done your research, you can even reach Star Wars fans!
Make it memorable!
Emotional marketing, here we come! When it comes to advertising, memorable is always more than a perfect design or flawlessly-written content.
Over the years, there have been many ridiculous characters in Star Wars franchise, and yet we might remember them even better than the story. Why? Psychologists got an answer: “Nothing focuses the mind like surprise,” says Psychology Today.
Synap Blog confirms: “Clearly, things we have a strong emotional reaction to are likely to be more important than ones we barely notice.”
To simplify it, once something exciting or scary happens, our body produces Dopamine, which is quite like a post-it note for our brain to remember the event. So how do you trigger this chemical reaction for your customers to memorize your product?
Tools to make it memorable:
- Your wild creativity – let’s face it, you can’t rely on data alone. To make a campaign catchy, you have to think and rethink the visuals over and over again. If result sticks in your mind – bravo! Your job here is done, and you can proceed with the channels you are planning to use for your campaign.
- Interstitial ads – you need to make some room for your creative ideas, right? Try using interstitial ads, a full-screen format, which is famous for high engagement rates, and you will have a few precious seconds to fascinate your customer.
- Themed landing pages – banners are just not enough to express your creativity? Well, here’s one neat solution: create a landing page. Plenty of space for all your ideas and lots of opportunities to fascinate your customer. To avoid unnecessary mediation, affiliate marketers usually use pop-unders to send visitors straight to the landing page.
So let’s assume you’ve created a great and a very memorable ad, but wait, your customer just left the landing page. That’s natural, people have a life offline, and they tend to forget no matter how hard you try. So how do the brands bring the spotlight back to their products?
Here’s your toolkit:
- Use current, relevant topics to market your product. Is it a new movie release? Sports event? Game everyone talks about? Get ideas and present your product. Here’s what Google Pixel did with Star Wars:
- Retargeting – a universal way to bring your customers back. Nowadays, you can even reach visitors acquired through social media channels or other paid traffic sources. By the way, it’s also a great chance to offer some coupons or other promo materials.
As you can see, there’s no need to be overwhelmed with Star Wars budget. Most of the methods Star Wars Marketing team is using are pretty affordable for even smaller businesses, and you have lots of opportunities to create unique promotions.
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