The original Star Wars films are some of my favorite movies of all-time. I fell in love with the great storytelling and timeless characters. The George Lucas prequels were a let down, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens renewed my love for the franchise.
* The trailer and synopsis were before I saw the full film
The release of this trailer had people, including me, very excited for the film. But something else got me excited.
Did you notice the hidden school marketing secrets in the trailer? In this article we will take a closer look at how the Star Wars trailer can be a guide for your school marketing.
School Marketing Tips in the Force Awakens Trailer
1. The Opening Shot – Destroy the Norm
The trailer opens with the iconic Star Wars score as the frame fades to a desert planet that looks somewhat familiar from the original films. The camera pans as it follows a land speeder deep in the background. The pan reveals a destroyed X-Wing, and then later a destroyed Star Destroyer. This scene is a perfect analogy of how you should run your school district marketing.
You want to stay true to your school district (iconic music) so the audience recognizes your brand, but you don’t want to rely on the same old methods. You always want to be challenging your marketing strategy. Be familiar, but constantly be changing with your audience’s taste and desires. Destroy the safe, go-to campaign (X-Wing) and do something new and fresh.
2. White and Black Luke – Conflicted Struggles
Luke Skywalker is the narrator for the Force Awakens trailer. We never see his face, but we know he is there. We see what appears to be Luke reaching for his old friend (R2D2) looking for guidance. He is dressed in both white and black representing his internal struggle with the dark side and the light side of the force.
We have these same struggles in our school marketing. We know we should be developing a strategy using analytics and proper research, but it can be very easy to cut corners and go for the quick fix or easy solution.
Whenever you feel yourself swaying to the dark side, reach out to a friend or colleague that will bring you back to the light. It might take longer, but use your tools, and develop a solid strategy based on your audience’s needs and pain points.
3. The Excited X-Wing Pilot – Be Passionate
Later in the trailer we see the good guys in their x-wings flying over a body of water. The trailer then cuts inside a cockpit, as we see Poe enjoying is mission. He is excited to be there.
Passion is key to any marketing piece you create, any speaking gig you do, or any campaign you create for your school district. You must be passionate.
The story you tell, the graphics you create, must be infused with your passion. The more excited you are about a school program or a district initiative, the more excited your audience is going to be.
4. Use the Force – Align the Troops
The new bad guy (Kylo Ren) in the film looks powerful. He looks like a bad dude while wielding his light saber as he channels the force. However, all of his Jedi tricks does not compare to his ability to command his troops. He has them ready to go. He has them ready to put his strategy into motion.
You must do this too. Not only does your communications department need to be on board with your campaign or strategy, your whole district needs to be behind you. Let everyone in your district know your plan.
Be passionate to your internal staff like you would be passionate in front of a new parent or business partner. When you have the whole district behind your plan, it’s a lot easier to implement.
5. Reaching Out – Form a Partnership
Later in the trailer, we see new characters running from the Empire. They must work together to get things done and survive.
In this day and age of School PR, we must have partnerships to survive. Your district must form partnerships with the community. Find business partners. Find community members (Ambassadors) that will go to bat for you. Reach out to them to be successful implementing your strategy and campaign.
6. We’re Home, Chewie – Sometimes You Have to Go Old School
I know I mentioned earlier that you have to break down old routines, but when Han Solo and Chewbacca (RIP) appear on the screen at the end of the trailer, I get goosebumps.
Sometimes it is okay to go back to stuff that has worked in the past. It is familiar to your audience. If it is memorable, it might just send chills down your audience’s spine.
Go out my young pupils. Remember… the force is with you… always.