Earlier this month Disney launched a marketing campaign of epic proportions. The worldwide marketing blitz leading to the December release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens officially kicked off on September 4, otherwise known as #ForceFriday.
Stores around the globe held special midnight events for the release of new merchandise and social media played a huge role, from promoted hashtags to an 18 hour streaming event on YouTube. Naturally, as the resident Star Wars nerd in the office I was following the hype pretty closely. Take a look at how well the campaign performed and how big name brands joined in on the fun.
Use the Hashtag, Luke
The use of one branded hashtag for the promotion proved successful, with users tweeting #ForceFriday over 13k times an hour on September 4th. Twitter even introduced an all-new X-Wing Hashtag Emoji to commemorate the event.
#ForceFriday comes to @Twitter with a new custom emoji from #TheForceAwakens. pic.twitter.com/zWvgcNoX0a
— Star Wars (@starwars) September 2, 2015
May the Tweets Be With You
Brands from all across the galaxy capitalized on the hype on social media. Some were from brands you’d expect, like LEGO advertising the latest in their ongoing line of Star Wars building sets:
The awesome new LEGO sets from #StarWars: #TheForceAwakens are finally here! #ForceFriday http://t.co/7qpVVnEMba pic.twitter.com/GIfK1QdlxH
— LEGO (@LEGO_Group) September 4, 2015
Others however, seemed a bit out of left field. Kay Jewelers and Little Debbie don’t immediately come to mind when thinking about the Star Wars franchise:
May the Free Cake Friday be with you. RT and follow for your chance to win! #freecakefriday #forcefriday pic.twitter.com/rmuICXVDZk
— Little Debbie (@LittleDebbie) September 4, 2015
Discover our #StarWars Collection & may the Force be w/ you! #ItsYourDestiny #ForceFriday http://t.co/CbBgnAU1ZI https://t.co/S112SYOaNq
— Kay Jewelers (@KayJewelers) September 4, 2015
The Force is Strong With This Brand
One brand that integrated Force Friday into all aspects of their marketing was Target. The store was decked out in promotional materials for their midnight event, from talking Chewbacca cardboard cutouts to special conveyor belts.
However, Target took things a step beyond just hosting midnight events, by creating an entirely new website ShareTheForce.com and introducing the hashtag #ShareTheForce. The campaign encourages users to share their own Star Wars memory, from photos to home videos, which will later be placed within the Lucasfilm achieves. This unique campaign ensures that Target will see engagement from Star Wars fans young and old, long after they’ve purchased the latest action figure.
Three months remain until The Force Awakens hits theaters, giving brands ample time to capitalize on the excitement.
Did you hit the stores on #ForceFriday? Tell us below in the comments!