Star Wars accomplished what Jurassic World could not. The Force Awakens took over Avatar to become the highest grossing film of all. In Episode II of our Star Wars Impact Report, we discovered Jurassic World slowed its marketing immediately following the film’s release. Star Wars avoided making the same mistake. By continuing to fuel interest in its film with advertising dollars, Star Wars continued to drive box office revenue.
The Force Awakens has also benefited from an incredible number of brand partnerships, making the film seemingly omnipresent. Back in August, Disney named seven major brand partners for its latest saga: Duracell, FCA US, General Mills, Verizon, Subway, HP, and Covergirl. While it’s clear Disney has benefited from these partnerships, brands must now determine the value they generated from riding on The Force Awakens starship.
Duracell and FCA Group are the brand partners taking the most advantage of the Star Wars force, though each in different ways. Duracell has bought the most ad time overall and has been delivering its battery-powered lightsaber battle to TVs consistently since the beginning of November.
FCA Group invested heavily to create Star Wars specific ads for nearly every one of its automotive family of brands: Fiat, Ram Trucks, Dodge, Jeep, and Chrysler. Unlike Duracell, FCA Group saved its Star Wars creative until mid-December, waiting to make a big splash when The Force Awakens hype was at its peak.
Social data is a powerful way to measure consumer response to advertising and the value brands are getting from their media. Using 4C Affinities, we can determine if a brand’s Star Wars advertising is connecting with Star Wars fans.
We do this through our Penetration Per Thousand (PPM) metric that shows for every 1,000 people engaging with Star Wars on Facebook and Twitter, how many of them are also engaging with a particular brand. Comparing PPM throughout the Star Wars season can provide powerful insight into who’s making the strongest impact in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars consumers have always had interest in FCA Group’s brands as demonstrated by the consistently high PPM for Star Wars from July through December. Duracell and HP are the brands that moved their needle the most with their Star Wars content. Before Duracell and HP started advertising in November neither brand had achieved more than 4 PPM. After they initiated their Star Wars campaigns, Duracell achieved the highest PPM recorded for any of the brands at 16.8 PPM and HP surged to 14.9 PPM.
Covergirl demonstrated the opposite trend. Despite launching a limited edition collection, the makeup brand didn’t seem to resonate with the Star Wars audience and its PPM continued to slip following the announcement that Covergirl was chosen as a Star Wars brand partner. Subway’s selection as an official brand partner also generated more attention from Star Wars enthusiasts than did The Subway Cantina for the sandwich shop.
As brands strive to connect with their consumers in meaningful ways they will continue to leverage media that emotionally resonates with their target audiences. Social data is a strong force for identifying those opportunities and a powerful gauge for measuring their effectiveness. For brands in galaxies that aren’t far far away, social media will continue to play an increasingly central role in advertising.