Last week, I saw bags of apples with 'Star Wars' images all over the package. Well, at least I think they were apples. The promotional imagery consumed every single bag, so I suppose they could've been oranges, or grapefruits--or miniature, edible Death Stars. I don't sincerely know. Regardless, the drastic visual made quite an impact. No, I was not inspired to wait in line for movie tickets two weeks in advance. Instead, I was pushed to the breaking point. I'd finally become fed up with the months-long sea of 'Star Wars' tie-ins that frankly have nothing to do with the films.From Han Solo to BB-8, you are bound to see 'Star Wars' characters from each incarnation of the series everywhere you turn. Plastic Yoda figures and lifelike Lightsabers line the toy store shelves, as one might expect. But in an attempt to capitalize off the prior success and lingering nostalgia of past films, the 'Star Wars' marketing team has left no stone unturned. While putting Darth Vader and some Stormtroopers on bags of apples ultimately makes sense--if children see their favorite characters, they'll want to eat healthy!--I'm still not sure I understand some of the more farfetched promotions.
For instance, CoverGirl currently offers its own line of 'Star Wars' beauty products. The collection features lipstick, nail polish, and mascara, which take their cues from the "light" and "dark" side. While it's an interesting concept, I'm simply not sure how these products connect with the theme, except for the fact that the name may drive demand. Ugg Australia also has its own line of 'Star Wars' footwear, which doesn't quite seem to fit, either. While I support the creativity behind each shoe's concept, it seems rather excessive unless you're an extreme fan. How many parents are actually clamoring to spend $90 on baby booties that resemble Chewbacca? Will any man willingly spend $200 on matching Chewbacca slippers for himself? I'm sure most of these "limited edition" items will soon end up on the clearance page just as the brand's 'Inside Out' line did earlier this year.
Of course, the 'Star Wars' marketing team isn't the only guilty group here. Just look around at all the 'Frozen' items still on the market, for example. While I'll always love the film--there's a Disney princess with my name now, after all--I'm not sure I need an Olaf snow cone maker. And while I'm an avid Marvel fan, I'm pretty sure I don't need an 'Avengers' waffle maker. Viewers of 'The Big Bang Theory' would probably be satisfied with playing the original Clue board game, and fans of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer likely have little interest in operating on Bumble, the abominable snowman, with the seasonal version of Operation.
Variety may seem ideal, but marketers must be sure not to cross the line between promotion and frustration. While consumers certainly enjoy seeing their favorite classic characters brought back to life time after time, too much of a good thing may kill their interest permanently. No one thought the 'Star Wars' franchise would ever see the light of day again (especially after the failed prequel trilogy), but marketers must be sure that promotional items remain in line with the level of excitement for 'The Force Awakens' so as not to overshadow the movie itself. The new film has and will continue to earn millions of dollars, especially once it finally hits theaters, but marketers seem determined to milk this franchise for all it's worth. Don't cloud the memory of what once was good with the overly commercialized tendencies of today.