Like many men in their 40s, I grew up loving the adventures of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo as they battled the Empire across a galaxy far, far away. So it stands to reason that my affection for Star Wars and love of advertising would combine in my appreciation of commercials that use George Lucas’ creation in some fun and creative ways. Take a look below at some of my favourites.
Vader – Tunes Menthol Lozenges
I think this is without a doubt one of the best examples of how to use a movie to highlight your product’s benefit. Darth Vader is offered the opportunity to have his breathing corrected by one of his Imperial Officers… it’s a beautifully simple concept that is fantastically executed – right down to the guy who looks like Peter Cushing.
The Force – Volkswagen
You’d expect a wonderfully scripted and beautifully executed TV commercial from Volkswagen – and that’s exactly what they deliver here. A young kid dressed up as Darth Vader wonders around the home trying out his ‘Force’ powers on a range of different objects and animals but to no avail. That is until Dad comes home and plays a cute trick on him with the remote engine start.
It’s worth noting they followed up this TV commercial with further Star wars inspired adverts, but in my opinion ‘The Bark Side’ and ‘The Dog Strikes Back’ don’t come close to this advert.
Cantina – Adidas Originals 2010
Clearly the brains behind this commercial are having a lot of fun. Taking the Cantina scene from the first Star Wars (In my eyes the prequel trilogy do not exist), they transport the likes of Daft Punk, Snoop Dog, Ian Brown and David Beckham to Mos Eisley space port and have them act alongside the wretched scum and villainy that’s to be found there. Ok it’s style over substance and there’s a terrible moment of slapstick comedy but I’d rather watch this TV advert over and over again than The Phantom Menace!
Vader’s Visit and Droids – Curry’s PC World
What better way to get your electrical store to appeal to the Geeks in the UK than have a set of commercials fronted by characters from the greatest sci-fi films ever. Whilst the first, Vader, might make you think the company is run by an evil Empire; at least the second advert (fronted by the lovable R2D2 & C3PO) is a little more lighthearted. Both, though, get a nice feature across about why you should shop at Curry’s PC World.
R2D2 & C3PO – American Anti-Smoking Advert
I always knew R2D2 was a bit of a rebel (no pun intended). And this public service announcement from the US plays upon that fact by having the astro-droid getting caught puffing away on his favourite brand of tabs. C3PO then launches into a lecturing monologue (as only C3PO can) about the dangers of smoking… It’s not exactly the greatest commercial ever, but there’s no way Disney would ever let R2D2 be seen smoking these days!