Rob’s Roundup: Google Makes the Jump to Lightspeed with Star Wars Integrated Campaign

Rob’s Roundup: Google Makes the Jump to Lightspeed with Star Wars Integrated Campaign
Friday, November 27, 2015
Rob Walker

In what might be the biggest cross-brand collaboration since McDonald’s started selling the Barney Rubble Bacon Double Cheeseburger for the Flintstones film, Google and Disney have partnered to create the #ChooseYourSide campaign.

So how did this come about in the first place? Clay Bavor, VP of Product Management at Google, posted their response to the official Google blog.

“When we first heard about Episode VII, we started thinking about what a Google tribute to these epic stories might look like: “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was some sort of Star Wars thingy in Search? The Millennium Falcon in Cardboard would be sweet! What if Google Translate could decipher galactic languages?”… and on, and on, and on. As this list of ideas grew, so too did the band of passionate engineers and product folks who wanted to build them.”

Choose the Dark Side… or the light

With just under a month before the premiere of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, Google launched a full campaign that lets users pick either the dark or light side of the force. If you go to www.google.com/starwars fans can choose from either the evil sith dark side or the good jedi light side.

At the bottom of the login page are two lightsabers depicting each side of the force, and ostensibly how many users have chosen each side (if it’s not just a randomly changing gif, that is). As of this writing it seems like the dark side is winning…

Once you’ve chosen a side, your Google experience will start to change.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…

That iconic phrase kicks off the very first Star Wars film, and if you’re using Google Chrome and type that in to a Google search you’ll see one of the better easter eggs that Google has set up.

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…
Within Gmail, your background image will change, as will your loading bars.

The same goes for changes within Google Calendar and YouTube (your loading bar will change to a lightsaber powering up – the color depending on your choice of Dark vs Light, of course).

Other than the lightsaber loading and a big ad for Bell showing smartphones that have some Star Wars videos on them, I haven’t seen much on YouTube, but we’re still in early days.

Star Wars Navigation

One of my favorite integrations is that I’m now flying an x-wing within my Google maps navigation on my phone. Can we please keep this from now on?

Users are still finding all the little Easter eggs and Google has promised more to come, like a Millennium Falcon virtual reality experience. They also produced a video introducing the concept.

 

What about you, Dark side or Light?

I went light side of course – blue lightsabers bring out my eyes.

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