What Brands Can Learn From Thursday’s Star War Event

The “Star Wars Celebration”, a four-day event in Anaheim, kicked off Thursday with a special presentation featuring the first official trailer for the upcoming movie. Although fans waited for days to attend in person, the event was also live-streamed to viewers in 23 countries. This is a great example of a brand turning content into a live, must-see event, and marketers should take note:

Target “Tribes” And Foster “Fandoms”

In an increasingly fragmented media world, brands must do all they can to motivate their fan base. Encouraging fans to contribute and co-create the narrative is one great way to add to the fuel of the community: the presentation included appearances by long-time fans Lee Towersey and Oliver Steeples, who got hired to build the new R2-D2 robot after displaying their own version at a convention. Although not every brand has a hardcore fan base like the Star Wars franchise, brands can still foster the community by providing unique experiences and rewards, like the pizza provided by the organizers.  

Live Is A Double-Edged Sword

Live events are “must see” and generate a lot of buzz, but by their nature, can’t cover up flubs, so brands will need to become adept at putting together high-production value events. Apple events are famously honed to near perfection (minus the infamous live-streaming snafu from last September). At the same time, with the rise of Meerkat and Periscope, consumers are now able to contribute to the hype by live-streaming events from their mobile devices, which won’t always be in the brand’s control. Marketers must consider when and how it’s appropriate for their brand to incorporate live content.

Build Event Around Content To Spread The Word

Though today’s event was ostensibly around the trailer, which itself was only 1 minute and 40 seconds long, Disney was able to build it into an hour-long event by bringing in pictures, actors, and props. Special hashtags and Twitter emojis were introduced beforehand to help build social buzz, and tweet-worthy moments were also planned to prompt social sharing, such as the surprising return of the BB8 robot, and a special moment for the audience to take pictures of the main cast, crew, and storm troopers on stage. In short, turn content into an event in order to create more content that lives beyond the event itself.

Head image courtesy of www.starwarscelebration.com