The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

In A Marketing Department Sadly Not Far, Far Away …
January 19, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: Brand Suicide, Comment, Crap Marketing Ideas From History!, Marketing Fail

So yesterday I talked about the Yoda complex so it seems a perfectly appropriate time to talk about the recent Star Wars campaign for ‘The Force Awakens’.

Now I have a very vested interest in the Star Wars franchise, not just because it is one of the most iconic movies of my youth, but because my Mum was involved in the making of the first one. Sure, it was a small role, but it made her the coolest Mum in the universe.

Including galaxies far, far away.

Now if I’m being honest, those good feelings were tested to the max when George Lucas decided to launch the car crashes that were episodes I, II and III – especially as he incorporated the most annoying character since Scrappy Doo, Jar Jar Binks – but somehow, and to be honest I’m not exactly sure how, he came through without me wanting to kill him.

Hurt him, yes.

Kill him, no.

Years pass and Disney buy the rights to the franchise.

To be honest, I didn’t know whether to be happy or concerned.

Sure, I loved that a story I held in such high emotional esteem was going to be brought back into my life but there was more than a worry that the owners of Mickey might screw it up because let’s be honest, they bloody love their cuddly characters don’t they.

But then they announced the director was going to be no other than J J Abrams.

Sure, he’s not the greatest director in the World … in fact he’s a bit overrated … however he has an energy and edge that ensured that the chances were it would be more in the family of the original movies than the dumbed-down, uber-diluted prequels.

Early signs were good.

The trailers were exciting … there was a reintroduction of old and new characters and THERE WASN’T A CUDDLY ALIEN IN SIGHT.


And then the promotional activity started.

Look, I know it’s an important film.

I appreciate it was hideously expensive to make.

I get it’s a competitive marketplace so you want to stand out.

But how the hell does that justify this in Singapore …

… or this in the US …

… or this in China, a country that doesn’t even support Christmas …

I thought Hello Kitty, Ferrari and LG were brand whores, selling themselves to whoever hands over the cash, but this is a whole other level of ‘selling out’.

Fortunately the movie wasn’t as bad as their promotional activity suggested – though that could also be because their promotional activity set such a low bar, even Jar Jar Binks would look good in comparison, but being honest, I loved it. Every single second of it – however this ultimately shows the 2 sides of the Disney organisation.

The amazingly creative, craft obsessed, imaginative geniuses.

[Of which this is another example of when they’re brilliant]

And the supermarket publicists.

[Of which this is another example of when they’re scandalous]

Or said another way, the Force and the Dark Side.

God, I hope the Force wins as the franchise moves forward or I expect to see a Yoda vibrator at Ann Summers sometime in the future.

35 Comments so far
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I’d like to eat Rey.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Oh jesus …

Comment by Rob

Rob… For fucks sake. It’s a film aimed at wankers. Promoted by wankers. Selling useless shit to wankers. It’s called marketing, and yes, most of it sucks. It’s about to become the highest grossing film of all time… Proving the world is full of wankers. That’s why we’re in the ad biz. Cocktail time.
Cheers/George “AdScam” Parker

Comment by George "AdScam" Parker

Fair … but at least this one was like film viagra, compared to the last ones which brought on impotence.

Comment by Rob

And wear her on my face. Not sure about a christmas tree of her.

Comment by Billy Whizz

She would be disappointed with the size and strength of your light saber.

Comment by DH

billy has heard that before dave. from every chick hes tried to bang.

Comment by andy@cynic

I’ve had more action than yoda.

Comment by Billy Whizz

If they really wanted it to be scary, they should have modeled the dark side characters on planners. Or maybe they did.

Comment by DH

i hate agreeing with you campbell but it was good. better than lucas’ shit sandwich last 3. jj got the fucking movie. the pace. the fucking drama and humour. and shoving in the original characters and peppering moments from the original movies was fucking good. hate the way they marketed it, loved the movie. r2d2 was still the best actor of the fucking lot of them.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’ve changed.

Comment by DH

you mean evolved unlike you mr fucking swamp amoeba twathead.

Comment by andy@cynic

Seems you haven’t.

Comment by DH

I don’t wish to add to your healthy ego, but this is the best and most accurate review of the movie I have read.
I thoroughly enjoyed it which is much more than I can say about the last 3 instalments. Promotional activity aside, Disney handled it well, I was expecting it to be filled with cute characters that they would sell in their stores. Then the BB8 droid became this seasons most wanted toy and it costs a lot more than a cuddly toy, so maybe Disney were just more forward thinking than I gave them credit for.

Comment by George

R2D2 is a better actor than most of Hollywood.

But it was so good to see him [is it a him? Or a her?] and C3PO … even if he had a red arm.

God, I’m a bloody fanboy. Oh dear.

Comment by Rob

Could your love of R2D2 have anything to do with the fact you made us buy 2 full size robot versions of them?

Comment by George

One of which Billy stole.

Comment by DH


Comment by Billy Whizz

Well, given we sold all the “assets” of cynic when we sold the company, I think their lawyers would regard this as stolen property. Just saying …

Comment by Rob

as shit as that fucking dustbin was, its still better than their fucking shitty glasses and cars. fact.

Comment by andy@cynic

Great comeback this film. I was at the first showing at 12.01am. A little over 2 hours later I doubt I would have been happier if I found out WPP and Queen had never existed and we’re just a bad dream-like Pam Ewing finding Bobby in the shower. There’s are not many things that make you feel like a 6 year old again. I haven’t loved anything this much for over 35 years, so if the bad marketing makes it possible I don’t care.
By the way, was kylo ren based on Harry Enfield’s Kevin the teenager?

Comment by Northern

Your wife will be so happy to read this comment Northern.

Comment by DH

We have only been married for 11 years

Comment by Northern

Totally acceptable then.

Comment by Rob

Does it scare you we agree on something?

I loved that it was the perfect bridge for the next generation of fans. Introducing them to much loved characters from our history … either literally or in terms of a modern versions of them.

I also loved the story was exactly what we needed. I know George Lucas said it didn’t ‘go anywhere new’ but he’s missing the point. We don’t want that … we want new interpretations of what we love … something we can rely on and believe in.

I loved it. Unashamedly loved it.

Comment by Rob

Sad Lucas missed the point to his own brainchild. And while nothing will ever be like it was in 1978 the dialogue is better, the characters are more complex and it feels new even if it revisits some old themes. Mind you some twat at work said I’m beginning to look like Snoke so it’s not all good

Comment by Northern

Come soon you will.

Comment by Yoda Inc.

you talking to billy? hes only been waiting 35 years.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have not seen it yet, but your positive reviews have convinced me I must.

Comment by Lee Hill

Lee proves the dark side always wins.

Comment by Billy Whizz

You will like it Lee. It’s like a Hollywood version of a department meeting. In space.

Comment by Bazza

I didn’t know your Mum was Princess Leia? It does explain you though.

Comment by Bazza

Loved the movie. It felt liked it belonged to the original set and that’s an incredible achievement.

Comment by Pete

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