May the Merch be With You
Two brand giants with one creative mission
For many of us, feelings of nostalgia flood our memory banks when we hear the Star Wars music cue. The dramatic crescendos and decrescendos signal an adventurous journey through the supernovas and nebulas of the cosmos. There is an undeniable notion that surrounds the entire Star Wars brand; a notion that anything is possible within the bounds of deep space.
With so much opportunity surrounding the Star Wars brand, The Walt Disney Company was understandably choosey when selecting a merchandising partner for a campaign geared around the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The right candidate had to make sense not only to Disney, but also to the saga’s incredibly large following. What better match than HP Inc., who had recently announced the deployment of 120 HP ZBook Workstations to the International Space Station? HP, with one of the most storied histories in Silicon Valley, was soon to have hundreds of their products orbiting Earth at 17,150 MPH. This partnership gave rise to the HP and Disney campaign for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, featuring key HP products and another story in the Star Wars saga.
As the campaign progressed, HP—and by association, Disney—selected Adcetera to develop experiential creative that was used in the months before and after the movie’s release. When working with large, complex companies such as HP and Disney, knowing what merchandise to release to whom, as well as the “when” and “how” of the release, is a creative development process in itself. Adhering to the stringent requirements of both companies required discipline and a deep understanding of both brands, all while delivering sharp and engaging creative assets. Compliance was key where multiple stakeholders were involved; confidentiality protecting the film’s release and the associated HP merchandising and products was an absolute; and disciplined project management was critical so that the creative changed and updated parallel to the movie’s transition from initial release to theaters. Ultimately, the campaign was a blockbuster thanks to the mutual partnership between HP and Disney, and Adcetera’s ability to timely deliver sound creative work telling two success stories in one: the reinvention story of HP, and the expanding story of Star Wars.
Check out some of the merchandising for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens campaign.