Star Wars Did This Mistake, Make Sure You Don’t

Key Highlights

  • A major brand such as Star Wars enjoys a great branding and marketing legacy. There are many insights to gain from their success as well as their mistakes.
  • Marketers and brand managers are constantly looking for tools to improve those herculean branding/marketing tasks. Managing artwork projects with an artwork management platform might be the solution you are looking for.        

Here’s a branding blunder by Star Wars that we can learn from.

First, a small test (Yoda style).                

What is wrong with the poster below?

Revenge of the Jedi Poster -Star Wars. Published on Bizongo

Do you see it? Yes, the title is wrong. But that’s not what I meant.  

Look closer. Found the error?

If you did, you are the true student of the force. But if you didn’t find it yet, then here’s some advice from Obi-wan Kenobi to keep in mind:

Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them. - Obi Wan Kenobi. Star Wars Quotes/Meme

In the poster, the colours of the lightsabers are wrong. Luke Skywalker wields a red lightsaber (has Luke gone over to the dark side?), while Darth Vader is fighting back with a blue lightsaber. 

Fans at the time were quick to grasp the error. However, George Lucas discontinued the production of the poster and changed the title. Eventually, the wrong-coloured lightsabers were written off as a marketing error. 

As the premier day of the latest movie comes closer, every social media channel has been buzzing with news of Star Wars. With the release of the new movie poster reminiscent of the above-dismissed poster, it has generated more interest from fans (Mostly just Reddit :P).

When this came across my feed, it made me wonder how a major entertainment company approved the poster with such an obvious mistake. 

I imagine their reaction went something like this - 

Wait a minute, how did this happen? We're smarter than this.- Obi Wan Kenobi. Star Wars Quotes/Meme
Apparently not.

Here are a few possibilities of what might have happened

  1. For movies, release dates are decided well in advance. To support promotional activities, marketing teams need to create collaterals. At the scale of Star Wars, this means churning out different kinds of merchandise such as posters, t-shirts, toys and other paraphernalia. Therefore, it’s easy for human errors to creep in. 
  2. As per a recent report, Star Wars is the second-highest-grossing film franchise. This means that if the movie was being released globally, the need for speed became a deterrent. Most global brands work with multiple local vendors, all of whom might work with different types of equipment and software. This means there are more opportunities for something to go wrong somewhere.        

But, the year was 1983. The poster is now the stuff of Hollywood legends and fans perceive it as a limited edition poster.

Today, such errors by brands can cause more than just dents in their reputation. With social media, brands carefully cultivate their brand image. Any error can be picked up in no time and cause consequences.  

That’s why proofing is an essential step in any process to roll out accurate information. As a brand, you need to proof product details, artwork, graphics and other collaterals.  

Long gone are days of manual proofing or reviewing design files just by eye.  Someone in the project workflow might lose out on a crucial detail, like the Star Wars poster above.

With intuitive tools, you can digitally proof files and be sure of your work.

Besides proofing, you can help your teams by closely collaborating with them in every step of the process. Yet, as we mentioned earlier, if you are a global brand then there are many potholes such as - time differences, language barriers and working on different systems. 

In such cases, unfortunately, the force doesn’t work. 

Your next best tool is a cloud-based artwork management platform that can be customized for your teams and come with a range of features. 

With the right artwork management software you will be able to:

  • Digitally proof files with varied tools
  • Manage safe file sharing based on projects  
  • Comment on artwork files and give feedback
  • Look up and restore different versions of an artwork file

You can do all of this and more in the time it takes Millennium Falcon to travel through hyperspace. (Yes, we’re slightly reaching but you get the gist.) 

Your takeaway

As a brand, you can take many lessons from Star Wars pioneering marketing strategies. Even their missteps offer insight into how branding affects a brand’s reputation. So the next time you, young padawan, see an artwork graphic and it appears flawless, take Obi-Wan Kenobi’s advice to heart and learn from great mistakes.

Until then…

May the force be with you. Star Wars Quotes/Meme

Feature update! Now, you can upload artwork files through Adobe Illustrator & Google Drive extensions.

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