April 23, 2015

Last week was a special one in the history of being a geek.  In fact it was like Christmas came early.  The Internet loves some comic book and fantasy content -- that’s for sure!

For those of you who may have been buried under a rock the last week or so, the Internet saw the premieres of “Daredevil” on Netflix, the “Game Of Thrones”’ season opener and trailers for “Batman vs. Superman,” “Fantastic Four,” “Ant-Man” and the most amazing, awe-inspiring trailer of them all: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”  I have never watched so much online video and then read about what I’d just watched in forums and blogs as I did last week!

Back when I was in school, a professor I respected quite a lot said, “If you want to be successful in marketing, become a student of popular culture.”  I took those words to heart and have studied what the masses are interested in for many years.  Truth be told, it’s not that hard since I tend to really enjoy that stuff, as well.

When I was a kid I was naturally drawn to “Star Wars,” as most of the world was, and as I grew older my passion for the franchise only grew.  “Star Wars” represents one of the only standing non-polarizing mythologies of our time.  It is almost universally understood and appreciated (like The Beastie Boys and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches).  

When the new trailer hit last week, it ignited a firestorm of Internet activity. It felt as though every publisher in the world was posting click-bait to get their readers to their site leveraging “Star Wars.”  I swear nothing else happened in the world for three days while the geeks of the word united.

I had the unique experience of working on the starwars.com website for a year back in 2011, and it was one of my most fun projects ever. I witnessed what its like not to have to market something because its very existence is a marketable event. For this movie to be successful will require no marketing whatsoever: just a good story, a good director and a lack of Jar Jar Binks.  People will cover these trailers and announcements like vultures on a carcass in the desert, picking apart every last, little detail until Christmas actually comes and the movie is unleashed on the world.

In any other week, the buzz around the trailer for “Batman vs. Superman” would have been deafening, but I feel as though it barely registered in the consciousness of the mainstream with all their attention diverted by a robotic hand, a bubbly droid named BB-8 and the words, “Chewie… we’re home.”

George Lucas also blazed the trail for Hollywood and popular culture on many levels.   “Star Wars” was the first example of toy merchandising on a grand level, and it’s the biggest example of brand associative content/ I remember the Burger King glasses from when I was a kid – collecting them was an obsession!

"Star Wars" as a brand is arguably more valuable than the acquiring parent company’s primary characters of Mickey and Donald and friends. I personally can’t wait to bring my boys, aged 6 and 4 and already avid "Star Wars" fans, to share that moment of excitement with them when the movie opens, basking in the same feelings I experienced as a kid.

May the force be with you for the next seven months!

By Cory Treffiletti
Cory, vice president of strategy for the Oracle Marketing Cloud, is a founder, author, marketer & evangelist.
Courtesy of mediapost


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