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Star Wars and Its Buzz Marketing Campaign

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Essay title: Star Wars and Its Buzz Marketing Campaign

I. Introduction

Word-of-mouth advertising is often referred to as one of the most important sources of information for a consumer because it allows them to connect on a personal level instead of feeling pressured from a distant and calculated marketing pitch by an advertiser. Ironically, this form of "advertising" is not paid for, whereas advertisers usually pay for their advertisements. Word-of-mouth and buzz marketing can often be related in many ways because they are both a technique of viral marketing. According to WhatIs.com: "viral marketing is any marketing technique that induces Web sites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users, creating a potentially exponential growth in the message's visibility and effect." Buzz marketing and word-of-mouth are often viewed as a better source than mass media and most other forms of advertising because the personal level of consumer to consumer advertising lets satisfied consumers tell others how much they like a business, product, or service. For example, spoken communication, and web dialogue such as blogs, message boards, and emails can be considered forms of word of mouth advertising. New movies that are about to be exposed to the market often use this type of promotion and advertising. This strategy may consist of specialized movie screenings to specific crowds in order to get the word-of-mouth recommendations started. The recommendations are then spread to friends, family, and co-workers.

Buzz campaigns are usually started for the release of big, blockbuster theater movies. Technology has aided buzz marketers because they are able to deliver their messages easier and faster. The growth of the internet allows them to spread the word via means of websites, message boards, messaging programs, chat rooms, and blogs. All media campaigns make use of the ease of the internet by making sure their flow of word-of-mouth is circulating online before, during, and after the release of new blockbuster movies. However, the power of word-of-mouth has the ability to take less known and lightly financed movies into the categories of big name motion pictures. Buzz marketers are able create a sophisticated word-of-mouth campaign where consumers actually feel honored to be included in the small yet elite group of those who are well versed and willingly spread the word to their friends and colleagues.

II. Movie & Campaign

A particularly famous movie that was much less known during its release during the 1970s is known as Star Wars. Specifically, Star Wars IV: A New Hope as it is now called was able to change its name because of the success the movie had. Writer and director George Lucas originally labeled the movie Star Wars because he had no plans to release other prequels and sequels. After the success of the movie, he had to differentiate it from his other releases and gave it the full name of Star Wars IV: A New Hope. As confusing as it may be, Star Wars IV: A New Hope is the first of six movies to be released but is fourth in the Star Wars saga. The movie was officially released in the United States on May 25th, 1977. The film industry of the late 1970s consisted of cynicism and serious movies. However, the daring release of Star Wars had the courage to take on the current movie industry and typical Hollywood archetypes. Star Wars introduced everyone to a world of myth, smarts, and humor. This new generation of filmgoers was impressed with the action, special effects and plot of the movie. The plot which can be best summarized in a short summary found on IMDb.com goes as follows:

"Part IV in a George Lucas epic, Star Wars: A New Hope opens with a rebel ship being boarded by the tyrannical Darth Vader. The plot then follows the life of a simple farm boy, Luke Skywalker, as he and his newly met allies (Han Solo, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2) attempt to rescue a rebel leader, Princess Leia, from the clutches of the Empire. The conclusion is culminated as the Rebels, including Skywalker and flying ace Wedge Antilles make an attack on the Empires most powerful and ominous weapon, the Death Star."

Star Wars is renowned for changing moviemaking forever because it was the first movie to define the term "blockbuster." According to Wikipedia.com a blockbuster movie is: "Blockbuster, as applied to film or theater, is a very popular and/or momentarily successful production. The term was originally derived from theater slang referring to a particularly successful play; in film industry parlance it has come to refer to a film that earns an amount of revenue exceeding some threshold." The success of Star Wars did not happen overnight. As a matter of fact, the movie went through harsh times during production and was almost scratched. This movie was entirely saved by the word-of-mouth

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