After a record-shattering weekend at the box office, if you haven’t felt the force of Star Wars, you must be living in another galaxy. Star Wars: The Force Awakens hit $238 million solely in North American ticket sales. And I confess, I am one of the diehard fans who had tickets in advance of Dec. 17—and went to see it again on Saturday night.
The fan in me is enthralled by the movie, of course, but the marketer in me is greatly impressed with the effort that Disney put into this for the fans in the form of content marketing ahead of the launch.
The marketing push was so big that it was virtually impossible not to realize a new Star Wars movie was on the way. The team at Disney has masterminded this campaign from the moment they announced the film, and have obviously been at work since they announced a deal to acquire Lucasfilm in 2012.
With video, they were relentless, both online and on television. It started with the 88 seconds of footage they first teased more than a year ago (a year ago!), then the longer second teaser that dropped in April, then the official trailer that debuted in October and the countless TV spots. It seemed like every few days there was a new version released with just a few seconds of exclusive never-before-seen footage. With each version, the anticipation and excitement only grew, and of course it left you wanting more, hoping for the next few seconds in a few days. The cast made the rounds on the talk show circuit and timed it all perfectly. Even the normally reluctant Harrison Ford was cooperative, and playfully so.
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