Target is using the Force to connect with consumers this fall.
The Minneapolis-based retailer is unveiling a tribute to Star Wars fandom that features an interactive website offering users a spot in the galaxy as well as an in-store shop with exclusive merchandise.
As part of a partnership with Lucasfilm, Target will collect Star Wars memories, like lightsaber battles and Chewbacca impersonations, through a microsite called SharetheForce.target.com. Users can submit photos and videos to the site from Facebook and Instagram in exchange for a unique set of galactic coordinates indicating where their memories will be housed.
After Target collects the submissions, Lucasfilm will archive the memories to make them permanantly accessible to fans. There is currently no set end date for entries.
The interactive effort, created by Deutsch LA, aims to shine the light on Star Wars fandom to connect with audiences from age 4 to 94, said Rick Gomez, senior VP-marketing at Target, in an email.
"Target has been part of the legion of Star Wars fans since the franchise began, and we aimed to create a program that captured the passion that fans of all ages have for Star Wars by inviting them to archive their own Star Wars memories," said Mr. Gomez. "It's something only Target can deliver and we hope fans will love it."
The push, which begins rolling out today, makes Target one of the first marketers to leverage the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise, "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens," in a major advertising campaign, but it certainly won't be the last. Brands are expected to flock to the franchise as the film's December 18 nationwide release nears.
The "Share the Force" campaign also includes a 30-second online spot that debuted today, encouraging people to join the galaxy with a sampling of Star Wars fan footage. Other efforts, including a two-minute tribute film (seen here) showcasing fans from 1977 through today and an online video series designed to help parents get their kids up to speed on Star Wars lore ahead of the latest film's release, will roll out throughout the fall.
To read more about the campaign, head over to AdAge.com.