Sunday, December 6, 2015

Fiat Chrysler uses the power of The Force to sell cars

For today's Sunday Entertainment entry, I'm presenting what passes for a local angle on the marketing blitz for "Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens."  The Detroit Free Press had the story back in August: Fiat Chrysler to be part of Star Wars marketing force.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will be part of the marketing force behind the "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" movie that opens in December.

The automaker, known for partnering with movie studios, stars and musicians, is one of seven global companies that will be part of "an expansive, historic promotional campaign," to support the movie.

Lucasfilm identified the partners Thursday. Others include Covergirl & Max Factor, Duracell, General Mills, Hewlett Packard, Subway and Verizon...

"Our partners have all delivered original, stand-out campaigns that capture the familiar fun and excitement of our galaxy far, far away that we hope will delight fans as they get ready to experience "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Lucasfilm said in a release..."All of the partnerships strategically complement the tempo and tone of the film's overall marketing campaign."
I was very tempted to write that Fiat Chrysler was harnessing the power of the Schwartz to sell cars, but anyone who has seen "Spaceballs" knows that merchandising is the power of the The Schwartz, not marketing.  Watch Yogurt explain.

Yogurt (Mel Brooks) explains where the real money from the movie is made: merchandising!
The cars being advertised are not themselves merchandising, so the power of The Schartz is not with Fiat Chrysler.*

Follow over the jump for more from the Detroit Free Press along with five video ads from the campaign.

Last week, the Freep updated its readers on the ad campaign in Watch: FCA taps force with 7 new 'Star Wars' ads.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles began rolling out seven new Star Wars-themed YouTube commercials tonight in a partnership with Disney and Lucasfilm that the automaker says is its largest co-promotional partnership with a movie studio or record label in recent history.

The partnership puts all of the automaker's brands into the same galaxy as what is arguably the most anticipated movie of the past 10 years, Marissa Hunter, director of FCA US brand advertising, told the Free Press.The ads are part of the marketing campaign for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens," which opens in theaters worldwide on Dec. 18. The latest installment in the George Lucas film saga is expected to break or come close to breaking sales records.

And, while other automakers are in the middle of rolling out traditional year-end holiday blow-out promotional sales events, FCA's brands will be saturating the airwaves with a unique marketing campaign.

"This is an incredible marketing opportunity," Hunter said. "We think that we will have an advantage in terms of being able to break through because it will be very different."

The automaker's "Star Wars" campaign includes one commercial for its Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat and Ram brands and three commercials for Jeep.
Here are the ads themselves along with their descriptions, beginning with the one for Chrysler.

Few things feel like the first time you saw Star Wars. Do you remember your first time? Come and celebrate it all over again with Chrysler.
Next, Dodge.

What’s most intimidating about our Imperial March is which Dodge vehicle to choose.
This is my favorite, as one can tell by looking at the image I used to begin this entry.

Fiat's ad plays on the conflict between the Light Side and the Dark Side of The Force.**

There has been an awakening. Will you choose the dark side? The light? There’s no wrong choice when it comes to the FIAT 500 Abarth.

Mark Hamill himself narrates the commercial for Ram, saying "There exists an all-powerful force in the universe."

When you have a family like the full line-up of Ram Trucks, the Force is strong with you. You can have that power too.
Finally, here's one of the ads for Jeep.

Even though you don't have to deal with X-Wing Fighters, Star Destroyers, or Tie Fighters on your daily commute, Jeep Renegade still gives you the freedom to journey far, far away.
First, that's better advertising for the movie than for the car.  Second, the irony is hilarious.  It won't convince me to buy a Jeep; I drive a Prius  and my wife's car Dez is a VW.***  Besides, last I checked, my ex-wife drove a Jeep.  No way am I driving the same brand as her!

*On other hand, the ad campaigns for some of the other corporate partners clearly show that the products being advertised act as merchanidise, not just marketing.  Cover Girl's products and ads serve as good examples.

The names and quotes are all over.  The Schwartz is indeed with Cover Girl!

**Cover Girl isn't the only one to explore this theme.  For a more serious examination of good vs. evil in the franchise, read 'Star Wars' proves treasure trove for philosophers from Reuters.  If I wanted to think harder today, I'd be quoting from that article.

***Look for a driving update for Dez next.  She's within five miles over turning over another 1000 miles.