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Pathmatics Blog

The Force is Strong With These Ads

December 23 2015 by Ken Roberts


It goes without saying that here at Pathmatics, we like advertising. But we also like our blockbuster sci-fi movies (heck, our office features space travel posters). So what could be better than watching video ad tie-ins to the biggest blockbuster of all, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"?

We called on some of our die-hard Star Wars fans and advertising aficionados to put on their movie critic hats and review their favorite—and not so favorite—brand tie-in video ads.

First up, we have CoverGirl's "Which Side Are You?" campaign, showcasing several bold looks from both the Light Side and the Dark Side. Musician Janelle Monáe asks, "Which side are you on?" This video had some of the strongest reactions of the group from "a bit of a stretch" to "hated!"

However, Craig Pierce, Software Developer noted that "Janelle Monáe was the perfect choice - She's fashionable, talented, and all her albums are sci-fi themed."

Next up is Dodge's "The Force Gathers." This video also received a lukewarm response. A single black Dodge marshals an orderly legion of white Dodge vehicles through the city to the John Williams score. The call-to-action: "Join the Dodge Side."

Office Manager, Matt Bozin summed it up: "Three things are certain, Dodge leads the pack. Dodge follows the leader. Dodge is slightly confused."

Verizon's "Better network as explained by Star Wars" scores high for production value, but low on pay-off. Reviewers agree that the premise is a klunky stretch as a tie-in.

HP's teen romance story got some positive reviews as most of group saw good synergy between the innovative use of technology in the story and HP's brand message. Both Matt and Carey Fischer, Dir of Agency & Advertiser Sales, put this ad near the top of their lists.

Duracell, the second Proctor & Gamble ad in the mix, was the first ad that got thumbs up from all our reviewers. Carey's take: "cute, love the action, my favorite, tie-in makes sense."

The favorite of the bunch was this surprise hit from Kraft Foods. Even Craig, who had low expectations ("I expected it to suck"), was struck by the punchline. Matt loved that the wife is named Leia. And Tom Lorimor, Co-Founder & CTO, named it as his favorite, saying, "The force is strong with this one."

What are your favorite tie-in video ads?

About Author
Ken Roberts

Ken Roberts has been immersed in marketing and technology for over a decade, merging creative strategies with the latest technology, to bring products together with the people who need them. With degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and an MBA, Ken’s background in product management, marketing, sales, analytics and technology lends to his ability to attack product challenges on multiple levels. Ken began his career developing software solutions for medical records before transitioning to marketing. Ken focused on building marketing departments and operating in-house agencies. Ken’s experience with digital platforms, internet based marketing, lead scoring and business intelligence, and reporting, as well as a keen market understanding, are a welcome addition to Pathmatics, only matched by a leadership philosophy that encourages high creativity and ownership from his team.

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