Star Wars has become a global, cultural phenomenon for many reasons, but there is one that George Lucas pioneered to intentionally be used on film, that is crossing over into marketing today (and we’re not talking about toy licensing!).
The reason the whole world could so universally connect to the story of a fresh-faced farmboy dreaming of adventure, a princess needing rescue, a rogue smuggler and the fight for freedom against an oppressive empire… comes back to one man named Joseph Campbell.
Back in the 1940’s, academic scholar Joseph Campbell, studied mythological stories from cultures all over the world. In compiling his research, he found that almost every tribe’s stories told of a Hero who had to pass through the same 17 key stages on his/her journey. There was always the hero’s ‘Call to Adventure’, their ‘Refusal of The Call’ and (without bastardising Joseph’s work) many other challenges, sacrifices and growing opportunities along the way, until ultimately the hero ends with the ‘Freedom to Live’.
Joseph Campbell published his work in the aptly titled ‘The Hero with a thousand faces‘ which became the cornerstone of George Lucas’ 1977 screenplay.
What George Lucas intentionally did back in the 70’s was create an epic tale that called out the Hero in every person watching.
Today, the web allows us to do something that we could never do back in the 70’s – we can be in relationship with our global fans over time: weeks, months, even years.
What do we do with this long-term relationship?
Every second of every day our fans have their Wii-FM radar up, subconsciously yearning to be ‘Called to Adventure’.
In the Connection Economy, the brands who take their fans on their own Hero’s Journey, wins.