In 2015, Star Wars partnered with retailers to release new limited-edition merchandise and host Force Friday in-store events to promote Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Star Wars grew the Find the Force event for the three following years, partnering with retailers worldwide to release new merchandise and promote the subsequent films in the new Star Wars trilogy.
Creating a Memorable Experience
Star Wars wanted to make its Find the Force event truly memorable in advance of 2017’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (which would be released in theaters three months after the campaign). The pop culture brand planned to bring its iconic universe into fans’ physical communities using augmented reality.
Our web development team led by Ryan Payne was tasked with helping to build an augmented reality game that allowed Canadian Star Wars fans to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe while exploring the physical spaces in their own local area. The campaign had to be better than previous years, span all of Canada, integrate with Google Maps, and include nearly 300 retail locations and theaters. Finally, the interactive game had to coordinate with virtual reality features, early-access unlockables, and in-store perks.
Inviting Fans into the Story
Our team created the visual map layer populated with the graphic elements needed to support the Google Maps AR experience. The nearly 300 locations were all marked and had to be able to differentiate depending on which team claimed the “base,” which of the theater locations were hosting Midnight releases, and which locations contained augmented reality experiences.
Our developers helped design and develop the Canadian Find the Force website, which allowed users to play the augmented reality game within Google Maps. Players began by connecting a social media profile and choosing a team—the Resistance or the First Order. As players found new locations and activities on the map, they could claim those locations for their team, turning the promotional event into a national game of capture the flag. Locations also featured augmented reality experiences featuring characters from the upcoming movie.
Interactivity Creates Memories
We brought a fantastical fictional world to life for generations of Star Wars fans while promoting the franchise’s newest films to the next generation. Working with agency partner, No Fixed Address, we created a memorable, on-the-ground experience spanning an entire country by leveraging our brand, storytelling, and web development experience. The team coordinated an overwhelming collection of media, design elements, and tracking data into a dynamic map layer. But, watching a spaceship land at Toronto’s CN Tower made it all worthwhile.
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