May 19, 2005
He taunts you the entire time and then with a little help from the Burger King King guesses what you were thinking. He pulled a yo-yo out of my feeble mind after 17 questions.
May 13, 2005
As if yesterday's Star Wars commercials weren't enough, how about a giant, inflatable Darth Vader towering over your local Burger King? The same company that made the inflatable SpongeBob SquarePants balloons (many of which were stolen) is making the 9-foot inflatable Darth Vaders.
It's all part of the endless Revenge of the Sith merchandising, worth an estimated $20 billion in revenue. It's also the first time Star Wars characters have appeared outside their fictional film environment, interacting with people in commercials, according to Lucasfilm. In addition to the commercials, there are Legos, the dreaded Darth Tader Mr. Potato Head (and worse toys--can you say "Wrestling Buddy Vader"?), a Time cover story, an Organic Trade Association spoof, even a Darth Vader blog (which, interestingly enough, is posting journal entries from the climax of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi just as Revenge of the Sith opens). Some of the more enterprising are even trying to sell "May the Force Be With You" T-shirts (OK, I admit that's me).
Star Wars is actually credited with making movie merchandising the profitable arena it is today. For the holiday season in 1977 toy-maker Kenner sold 600,000 empty IOU action-figure boxes. In 1978 they'd go on to sell 42,322,500 action figures (Entertainment Weekly, subscription required).
And with two TV shows in the works, it's not likely this is the end of the Star Wars marketing juggernaut.
May 12, 2005
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith opens next week and the marketing tie-ins are everywhere:
- We've mentioned Yoda and his Diet Pepsi before, but here it is again.
- Then Chewbacca records ringtones for Cingular.
- Next Darth Vader gets the M&Ms to join the dark side and introduces dark chocolate M&Ms. Get it? Whoo, they're clever.
- In a U.K. commercial Darth Vader is mocked by the Orange Film Funding Board.
- In another UK spot a can of Pringles turns into a lightsaber and Chewbacca breaks it. I think.
- Then Darth Vader has to take it outside aftering dueling with a kid weilding a light-up saberspoon from Kellogg's.
- And in case you didn't get the message, George Lucas himself shows up in an episode of The O.C.. Lucas and O.C. creator Josh Schwartz talk about the appearance.
And if all those special Star Wars commercial tie-ins are too much, the Organic Trade Association wants to promote organic foods with their Store Wars spoof starring Cuke Skywalker and Darth Tader.
May 9, 2005
"Your drink desire you not," says Yoda as he tries to yoink a Diet Pepsi in the latest cross-marketing commercial featuring Star Wars. It may seem goofy for the Jedi master, but he did steal fish sticks from Luke in The Empire Strikes back.