Wading through the remains after the Star Wars craze
After Star Wars: Episode VII celebrated a record-breaking box office success, just about every company was looking for creative marketing strategies to piggyback onto the craze. Star Wars themed products including everything from pizza cutters to mascara, left some consumers eye-rolling at these gimmicky attempts to capitalize on George Lucas’ devoted fandom.
Use the force
However, a marketing campaign launched by Publicis for European big box chain Carrefour made a big splash in Romania. During opening weekend of Episode VII, an interactive display in the Carrefour store gave customers an opportunity to “shop with the force.”
For those of you living under a rock, “the force,” is a metaphysical power possessed by the Jedi Knights in the fictional world of Star Wars. The most notable feature of the force is telekinesis, or the ability to move objects without touching them.
Kinect technology for public use
Carrefour’s display employed Kinect technology, which uses advanced motion sensors to detect user’s arm and hand motions. Shoppers could move icons representing products into a virtual shopping cart, simply by pointing and waving their hand in front of the screen. Think Minority Report.
Kinect technology has made huge advances in the past few years, especially when it comes to video games. However, this may be the first time that the technology has been made available in a public forum, and marketing experts are applauding this creative application of Kinect tech.
The display caused quite a stir as customers gathered around to take videos and cheer each other on. After customers finished shopping with the force, their selections were waiting for them at the cash register.
Keep this in mind for the next wave
The marketing strategy was mutually beneficial for both Carrefour, and for Star Wars, whose products were, of course, available in the store. The secret to this campaign’s success was providing a memorable, interactive experience that directly tied the fantastical fictions of the world of Star Wars to the real world shopping experience.