May The Fourth Be With You: Marketing Lessons From Star Wars

Everybody’s heard of Star Wars, the American movie franchise that was created by George Lucas and began in 1977 with the release of Star Wars: A New Hope. What you might not know is that Star Wars is more than a movie franchise – it is also a lesson in great marketing. In honour of May the Fourth, join us as we take a look at some important Star Wars marketing lessons we can learn from the franchise.


Using drip feed marketing

To build hype around the release of ‘The Force Awakens’, Disney used drip-feed marketing. Before the movie was released in cinemas, Disney released movie posters and official trailers to give fans a taste of what to expect. It’s easy enough to apply these strategies to your own marketing campaigns. Instead of just announcing a product and releasing it, dropping hints can help build buzz and anticipation so there’s a bigger response for the actual release.


Incorporate UGC

A fansite called ‘Share the Force’ was created by Target and backed by Disney, encouraging Star Wars fans to share their favourite memories, taking advantage of UGC. Fans’ memories were stored on the site in the form of stars in a 3D galaxy, resembling iconic Star Wars characters. 

Taking a leaf out of Target’s book, there are many ways to incorporate UGC into your own brand. Options for organic UGC include reviews and testimonials, photos, videos, and blog posts. Similarly, paid UGC is particularly popular among newer brands that want to take advantage of UGC but haven’t yet built a large enough customer base of customers sharing photos. You can choose to reach out to UGC creators on Upwork or Fiverr, or if your brand has already built a loyal follower base, they may come to you.


Trigger emotion

One of the reasons LucasFilms’ marketing efforts were so successful was their ability to create a sense of nostalgia among fans. By creating content that evokes an emotional response from your audience, you can do the same thing. Once you’ve done some research to better understand your target audience, you’ll be well-positioned to create content that resonates with them.

Evoking emotion can be simpler than you might think. For example, the colours you include in your ads have a significant impact on your audience’s emotional response. Take red for instance, a colour commonly associated with strong feelings such as love, excitement, and anger. Or, if you’re looking to invoke feelings of warmth, creativity, and happiness, you might choose to incorporate yellow into your ads.


Create your own slogan

The iconic phrase “May the force be with you” is one that fans instantly associate with Star Wars. The same goes for other brands, too. The words “Just do it” will probably make you think of Nike, and if you hear “The Happiest Place on Earth’, there’s a good chance Disneyland will come to mind. Coming up with a memorable slogan for your own brand will help it stick in your audience’s mind. An effective slogan is simple, has a clear message that ties into your brand, and is easy to memorise. 


Incorporate cultural relevance

One of the reasons behind the massive success of the Star Wars franchise is its ability to integrate itself into pop culture. Darth Vader continues to be one of the most iconic villains of our time, while beloved heroes such as Luke Skywalker give audiences someone to root for.

Thanks to Star Wars’ example, we know that cultural relevance is important. But just how important is it? According to Adweek, very! They conducted a survey of 865 consumers and found that 25% of product purchase decisions are driven by cultural relevance. 

For your own brand, incorporating cultural relevance starts with understanding your audience’s culture through research. In practice, making your ads culturally relevant can mean using inclusive language and including culturally relevant images. Focusing on authenticity and respect is key to building a genuine, culturally relevant brand image.


Star Wars isn’t just a beloved franchise, it’s a helpful lesson in building a successful marketing strategy. If you’re looking for a strategy that gets results, get in contact with us at to find out how we can help.

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