Lucasfilm Raises Curtain on Early 'Sith' Promotions

  |  March 15, 2005   |  Comments

In addition to the official Star Wars site, both content partners launch micro-site promotions.

Lucasfilm has revved its promotion for the final Star Wars flick into high gear, striking a new exclusive content partnership with Cingular Wireless and launching more exclusive content via partner America Online.

Lucasfilm has partnered with Cingular to sell downloads of Star Wars-related content to its 49 million users. Content available for purchase includes music tones, voice tones of movie quotes, sound effects tones, nine mobile games, more than 50 animated screensavers, 200 wallpaper graphics, and more than 50 MMS (define) greeting cards.

Cingular built its own Star Wars micro-site featuring download information, a Star Wars car-giveaway sweepstakes, and a sign-up form for text alerts with insider trivia.

"The Star Wars brand is recognized and loved by people of all ages," John Burbank, Cingular's VP of marketing said in a company statement. "Fans of the Star Wars saga will appreciate the virtually anytime, anywhere access they'll have to their favorite Star Wars moments and characters directly from their handset."

Cingular and Lucasfilm hadn't responded to questions about the deal's financial details by press time.

AOL's Moviefone serves as exclusive host for the full-length trailer for "Revenge of the Sith," which was shown for the first time on television during the Fox network's program "The O.C." on Thursday. The trailer, which hit movie screens on Friday, was made exclusively available to AOL and Star Wars fan site subscribers from Thursday until Monday. It went live on Moviefone for general public access Monday morning.

Moviefone is anticipating robust traffic to the trailer, after measuring 6.5 million downloads of the teaser version of the "Sith" trailer in November, said John Angelo, a Moviefone spokesman.

"Securing exclusive movie content, such as extended clips and trailers, is what we do at Moviefone so we can offer site visitors compelling content they won't find anywhere else," Angelo said. "We see our Star Wars content as a tremendous asset because moviegoers' passion for all things Star Wars is unlike any other movie. Site traffic for the original teaser trailer was huge in November and we expect that the full-length trailer will be one of our most watched trailers ever."

Moviefone also hosts a micro-site featuring Star Wars content that includes behind-the-scenes content from the film, a link to the film's e-commerce site, and an episode three online video game created by LucasArts.

The decision to partner exclusively with Moviefone and Cingular is a strategic one that does not come without some risk, said David Card, senior analyst at JupiterResearch.

"Exclusives are tricky," said David Card, senior analyst at JupiterResearch. "The risk is you won't get as broad of a reach. However, Moviefone has pretty good reach. It's a major, major player that competes with Yahoo Movies and MSN Video."

"Revenge of the Sith" will be released to movie theaters on May 19.

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