Contentable Blog

Using the Force - Piggybacking off the Power of Star Wars

Posted by Ashley Smith

20-Dec-2016 13:15:47

You don’t need to be a devout of the rebel alliance, pondering whether Han or Greedo pulled the trigger first in the Cantina to appreciate an ad that makes good use of the galactic dreamscape that is Star Wars.

We probably don’t need to enlighten you to the fact that the latest installment in the Star Wars universe - Rogue One, A Star Wars Story - dropped into theatres last week, as you’ve likely played the viewer to a number of trailers that pulled you in during the pre-release.

And while the myriad of trailers could almost be considered their own mini saga, if that wasn’t enough, you probably caught wind of the film’s release from some of the globe’s biggest brands who paired up with the franchise, using the force to tap into the lucrative market.

We’ve taken a look at some of these brands who’ve piggy-backed off the power of Star Wars and ranked which ones used the force like a Jedi.

4. General Mills 

The consumer foods brand responsible for a number of breakfast cereals including Cookie Crisp, Honey Nut Cheerios and Chex Mix teamed up with Star Wars to bring about a free ticket promo that tapped into the novelty of finding a prize in a cereal box.


The American spot plays off the childlike excitement that can come to even the most seasoned Star Wars enthusiast when a new film is about to be released - with grown adults making sound effects at the grocery checkout.

3. Gillette 

Gillette’s ‘Every Story Has a Face’ campaign included co-branded packaging featuring the profiles of a number of characters from the Star Wars universe to grab consumer’s attention from the store shelf.


Gillette Packaging.jpg

An additional ‘Gillett Original’ short film/TV spot sees rebel and imperial forces facing off before rewinding back to the crucial moments before battle - cleaning yourself up and having a shave. When it comes to battling storm troopers or battling traffic on the freeway to work - Gillette want men to know that they are the face of their own adventure, even if it might seem a bit mundane.



To get further reach, Gillette used paid posts on Twitter as well.

2. Nissan

The stars well and truly aligned for Nissan when they released their latest car named ‘Rogue’ around the time Rogue One was starting to build some hype.

Pairing up, the campaign from the car maker included spots that put the Nissan Rogue on a simulated battlefield, dodging storm troopers and fire from AT-AT’s. Star Wars was the perfect backdrop for highlighting the tech features (with an abundance of holograms) while countering this with the ruggedness of a car that could double as a tank on the field of battle.



Nissan also went deeper, showcasing their heartwarming, philanthropic side with a spot highlighting their partnership with the Force for Change initiative, to donate Star Wars toys to Toys for Tots.  


1. Duracell

This one will force you to grab the tissues.

Duracell gets our top place. hitting a double whammy with their TVC, ‘The Rebels Who Saved Christmas’, by coupling the release of Rogue One with the timeliness of the Christmas season.

The ad plays off Duracell's recent donation of 1 million batteries to 147 Children’s Hospitals across America. The spot involves a group of children using the power of their imagination to sneak past nurses (or are they storm troopers?) to deliver a battery powered R2-D2 toy to a sick girl during Christmas.

Amongst the other advertisements that are focused on selling a product, this advertisement gets a gold star by having great depth and dimension. The ad is more charming and less contrived than others, while putting the real world philanthropy of Duracell in the limelight.

Similar to Nissan, Duracell also harnessed the power of social media, using paid posts to advertise on Twitter.

If you have seen any other co-branded Star Wars ads, we’d be happy to hear your thoughts, so let us know in the comments!


Topics: social media, branding, graphic design