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The text Star Wars.

The Star Wars brand is a household name for most. Source: Google Images

After Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 for $4 billion the following year the company announced the release of a new Star Wars movie. Since news of the highly anticipated December 2015 release of the film, Disney has been ramping up its marketing efforts for the Star Wars brand. Through an integrated brand strategy and global partnerships, Disney has created a multi-dimensional promotional platform for Star Wars. Disney is featuring the Star Wars brand through many different mediums such as merchandise, films, and digital platforms.

The massive promotional campaign for the film includes partnerships with global brands such as Covergirl, Duracell, General Mills, HP, Verizon, Subway, and many more. According to Yahoo Movies, Lucasfilm, through its partnerships, hopes to develop breakthrough, custom creative campaigns and innovative programs for target audiences to promote the December release of the Star Wars film. Although not all of the partners have promoted their marketing plan for the upcoming film, CoverGirl has created an entire Star Wars Collection. This makeup collection features futuristic makeup for all the female fans of Star Wars.

Target, a major retailer, wants to connect with Star Wars fans from 4 to 94 years old. Recently, Target unveiled a tribute to Star Wars fans which features an interactive website. Through the site, Target will collect Star Wars memories, such as lightsaber battles and character impersonations, from which users can submit photos and videos to the site from Facebook and Instagram. Target will collect the user submissions, which then Lucasfilm will use for permanent promo content in the future, accessible to all fans. In addition to the site, Target will open an in-store space called “Shop the Force” where licensed Star Wars gear and merchandise will be sold. The clip below features Target’s “Share the Force” marketing campaign.

Continuing the Star Wars movie franchise is not Disney’s only plan for the future integrated brand marketing efforts of Star Wars. Disney recently announced that it is launching one of the biggest theme-park expansions in both Florida and California. Both theme parks are expected to feature a Star Wars land. Disney is already showcasing lines of Star Wars merchandise, which can be bought with a Star Wars credit card. Additionally, Disney cruise lines will feature Star Wars themed eight day cruises in the Western Caribbean. See the video below, which depicts the future Star Wars land.

Disney has created a force through its integrated Star Wars brand. Disney is expected to profit most from the sale of its Star Wars merchandise and according to an the article released by Washington Post, Star Wars merchandise has brought in over $12 billion in revenue over the lifetime of the franchise. The aggressive marketing by Disney for the Star Wars brand will continue far into the future, because Star Wars not only has a cross-generational appeal but also a massive global appeal.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • Brainstorm some other partnerships in which Disney should pursue to further build upon the Star Wars brand.
  • Do you think Disney faces difficulties in appealing to the younger generations, as a new Star Wars film has not been released for over a decade?
  • What are some other ways Disney can build the Star Wars brand?