Wall Street Journal
HP, Duracell, Subway, Toys R Us among brands with commercials related to upcoming film
TV viewers have been hard pressed to avoid Star Wars-themed commercials over the past few months, as companies have littered the airwaves with ads that tie into the much-anticipated release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
Brands such as Subway, Jeep, Duracell, Verizon, Cover Girl and GoGurt have been airing Star Wars-related commercials in hopes of benefiting from the hype surrounding the Walt Disney Co. film, which opens Friday.
Ad-tracker iSpot.tv said that 19 companies have been running Star Wars-themed commercials and have spent almost $60 million to air those spots, as of December 14th.
Most of the ads have scored well with consumers, according to Ace Metrix, a research company that uses an online panel of more than 500 viewers to score an ad’s effectiveness based on traits such as persuasion and likability.
Star Wars “is such a well-known franchise and that is helping” ads standout and get better recall, said Peter Daboll, chief executive officer Ace Metrix. “It’s hard to screw up with a Star Wars ad,” he added, the film “has such broad appeal even with people that aren’t big fans of the movies.”
Seven companies, including HP, Duracell and Subway, are official “brand partners” for the movie, meaning they are creating ads that promote the movie and their products together.
Here is a look at the five most liked Star Wars-themed ads, according to Ace Metrix.
1. HP: “Reinventing Romance with R2-D2”
A teenage boy uses his HP Star Wars Special Edition Notebook to make his own R2-D2 in his garage. With the help of the laptop, the boy uses the droid to bring a movie ticket for “The Force Awakens” to a young girl’s house. The droid gives the girl the ticket and a note that reads: ”Will you be my date?”
2. Duracell: “Battle For Christmas Morning”
With the help of some Duracell batteries and a lightsaber, a young boy rescues his sister after an epic battle with Stormtroopers that have invaded the family home on Christmas morning. Star War characters such as R2-D2 and C-3PO make cameos in the spot.
3. Kraft: “Can’t Play”
Kraft’s ad, intended to promote its Star Wars character-shaped Macaroni & Cheese, shows a dad sharing his room full of Star Wars memorabilia—his most prized possessions—with his young son. The dad warns the boy not to touch the precious items, which include a box of Mac & Cheese.
“So, toys you can’t play with and Macaroni & Cheese you can’t eat? This is a room of lies,” the boy says.
4. Subway: “The Subway Cantina”
Subway tries to recreate the famous Mos Eisley Cantina scene from “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” by showing a couple entering a Subway that is full of Star Wars characters. Upon entering the sandwich shop, the girl reveals a blue lightsaber and Darth Vader nods his head in approval.
5. Toys R Us: “Like Father, Like Daughter”
The ad features a dad, an avid Star Wars fan, trying over the years to make his daughter a fan of the movie. Despite dressing his daughter up as Chewbacca as a child and even using plush Darth Vader and Yoda toys to entertain her as an infant, he fails to make her a fan. Years later, the dad figures out he has succeeded in his quest when his daughter, now a tween, grabs a lightsaber when she enters a Toys R Us. “I am your father,” the dad says with a prideful look on his face.
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