The Force is strong with us this week, as the latest Star Wars fanfare finally reaches its culmination with the release of Episode VII: The Force Awakens — but maybe not as strong with the advertising wizards who came up with these ideas, which are curious, at best, and asinine at the worst (we can all agree with the Interwebs that "Disney needs to calm the fuck down"). I guess we can be thankful that no one has yet to release any Star Wars brand blue milk.
Granted, you probably know some Star Wars fans who have fallen prey to one or more of the items on this list. (These are probably the same people who are buying the Star Wars charm bracelets from Zales, or leasing a Dodge because the adds show a phalanx of white cars driving around town to the tune of the Imperial March.) But whether or not you partake in any of these seven promotions, you have to find their lack of reasonable connection disturbing.
7) Coffee-mate Creamer
There’s so much that’s strange about this extensive tie-in that we hardly know where to begin. For one, who chose which character would get which flavor? If we’re going with the original flicks, Princess Leia might have been a much better choice for vanilla, what with the signature white dress she wore in Episode IV. Boba Fett getting Italian Sweet Cream seems somehow racist, and I don’t know why. And I wonder if anyone at Coffeemate understood, when they labeled the Chewbacca flavor “Spiced Latte,” that “spice” in the Star Wars universe is an addictive and illegal drug? Sigh. Of course, this stupid idea has succeeded despite all logic, and these creamers are getting tougher to find. The one place you can still get the full set? Ebay. Because eBay is definitely a good place to buy your dairy products.
6) Death Star Spatula
Okay, some of the Star Wars kitchen implements are just fine. After all, some Star Wars fans have kitchens. So a Death Star Waffle Maker? Fine: both are round and both are vulnerable at their exhaust ports. Lightsaber chopsticks? Pretty cool, both for takeout lo mein as well as tiny re-enactments of your favorite duels. But a spatula? This isn’t even trying (and we all remember what Yoda said about trying). You can’t just stick anything at the end of a stick and call it a spatula. Spatulas aren’t even supposed to be round—there needs to be a flat edge on the end for it to work. So, better ideas for a Star Wars Spatula: a Jawa Sandcrawler, a TIE Fighter’s wing, and Darth Vader’s helmet upside down. Crappy ideas for a Star Wars spatula: an X-wing fighter, Luke’s artificial hand, and the Death Star. Do or do not, spatula-makers.
5) Kraft Macaroni & Cheese
Kraft has been making shapes out of its macaroni for years now, so Star Wars joining the ranks of Spongebob and Spiderman isn’t really all that surprising. What’s a little more surprising is that they went so far as to make the boxes deliberately collectible, with two of each of the four characters (Yoda, Darth Vader, C3PO and R2D2) required to make the full character visible on a display shelf. Mac and cheese developed to be displayed and not eaten? Probably not good mac and cheese. Worse, someone at Kraft came up with “clever” sayings for each box, as if said by the characters themselves. R2’s says “Beeep booop. It’s cheesy,” which is so epic in its unoriginality that it makes the decision to have Greedo shoot first look like genius.
4) General Mills Cereals
What’s stranger than replacing your mascot with a Star Wars character? Having your established mascots dress up like Star Wars characters. When fictitious characters are dressing like other fictitious characters, the whole cosplay thing has officially gone too far. There are five entries in this ad campaign: Honey-Nut Cheerios Buzzbee (who I’m pretty sure moonlights for Nasonex) dressed up like Darth Vader; some admittedly cool-looking Cinnamon Toast Crunch TIE Fighters; Chip the Cookie Crisp Wolf dressed as a First-Order Stormtrooper; the Millennium Falcon navigating through an asteroid field of Reese’s Puffs (maybe the peanut-buttery debris of Alderaan itself?); and a cross-dressing Trix rabbit coming in with traditional head-bun Princess Leia garb. Look, it’s one thing for Vader to push out an obnoxious leprechaun, but at least we didn’t have Lucky dressing up like Yoda and speaking with an inverted Irish brogue.
3) Campbell’s Soup
Look, I’m all in favor of same-sex parents breaking into the ad-pandering game (though how do you maintain the insulting cliché that all dads are clueless buffoons if they’re both dads?), but could it be a little less precious than this commercial? And really, that first dad has no room to talk, because frankly both of their Vader impressions could use some work.
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2) Yoplait GoGurt
Do we really need tubes full of sticky goo to be advertised as defacto lightsabers? Like parents don’t have enough mock-swordplay with anything vaguely resembling a long cylinder as it is already. Now we’re going to have yogurt all over the damn walls, and who’s going to clean that up, Yoplait? You? I doubt that.
Seriously, Subway, if I were you, I’d steer clear from any kid-related properties for a while. Every parent has a bad feeling about this.