As Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens grows ever closer to its massive premiere in theatres this December, the promotional campaigns are kicking into high gear. Whatever has come before now in terms of marketing and advertising are only a drop in the bucket. In short, it’s crunch time for all forms of promotion related to The Force Awakens. Now is the time – before all is known about the film and before the mystique surrounding it has evaporated – to attract as much attention as is possible.
Last week, DICE/EA released Star Wars Battlefront, their long awaited video game tie-in to The Force Awakens. For the most part, both reviews and sales have been encouraging. The game had a lengthy span of promotion that included a commercial with an appearance by Oscar-nominee Anna Kendrick (Twilight) in which she mimicked Obi-Wan-Kenobi’s famous “If you strike me down…” line from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. It was a good move on the part of DICE/EA, as the advert whipped up no small amount of buzz in the final days leading up to the game’s release.
But not every celebrity spokesperson turned out to be the best move for Star Wars Battlefront. A recent Instagram post by Benjamin Burnley, frontman for American pop band Breaking Benjamin reveals that EA had attempted to pay Burnley to promote the game on social media. As you can see, the end results weren’t quite what DICE/EA was hoping for.
There’s no specific information available as to why EA felt that Burnley was a suitable candidate for helping them to promote their game – though he did dress as Kylo Ren this year for Halloween. Perhaps this was seen as a good indication that his love for Star Wars would help move the game. Whatever the reason, it’s clear by the choice words and the broken game that Burnley isn’t a fan. This stands in stark contrast to Anna Kendrick whose close to 5 million Twitter followers have seen her regularly tweeting about the game.
Paying celebrities to endorse products is nothing new. In this case, DICE/EA attempted to gain a new spokesman and it failed, but that certainly doesn’t mark DICE/EA as having been in the wrong. Burnley’s response however, comes off more as the tantrum of a petulant child than a valid statement on either the quality of Star Wars Battlefront or the business practices of DICE/EA. At any rate, the lack of support from a pop singer certainly hasn’t hurt the game’s sales, nor will it deter the anticipation of those who will take advantage of the game’s first bit of DLC – The Battle of Jakku – available in December.
Star Wars Battlefront is available now for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. The Battle of Jakku DLC will be available December 8th. You can pre-order it here.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens hits theaters on December 18th, 2015, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.
Source: Benjamin Burnley