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Tying it all together

2 February 2012

I’m getting to that point where I have to kick-start the old Self Promotion machine (new book releases in June — wait, that counts, right? Mission Accomplished!). I always have some grandiose, interesting ideas of how I’m going to promote things without just going out there and screaming at people to buy my shit, but the truth is, I’m one guy. And, to boot, one guy who’s better at writing than he is at self-promotion. That’s why I enlisted some help this time around.

Yes, this actually exists.

But I’m not talking about that too much today — what I’m talking about are promotional tie-ins. You know, the things that people use to promote a book or a movie that aren’t the book or the movie, but are instead other products, other media. In the case of the image at left… well, someone actually decided it would be a good idea to make an action figure of the fat Rebel pilot from Star Wars. That’s a tenuous promotional tie-in if I’ve ever seen one. I was a kid when those movies broke huge (I was born just after the first one came out in theaters), and I remember my brother, two and a half years older than me, collected as many of the Star Wars toys as he could get his hands on. And, to the best of my knowledge, he never even expressed a desire to have an action figure of this guy.

Come on. His name is Jek Porkins, for crap’s sake. George Lucas put a fat joke in the poor guy’s name. And I can’t fathom a situation where any kid was just hoping that Santa brought him a Jek Porkins action figure that year. Yet, they made one, and you sure could… buy it, I guess. I tend to think it was that well-meaning aunt that always got you the wrong thing that accounted for a great number of his early sales. I can’t think of any other reason why kids would want an action figure of a horribly out-of-shape pilot (did the Rebellion not have any physical fitness requirements) whose only contribution to the Star Wars universe was saying “Stay on target… stay on target!” then exploding a half-second later.

"Don't they realize I just make a bigger target?"

My point, if I have one, is to try to temper your promotional message so that it makes sense and ties directly in to what you’re trying to promote, especially if you’re a DIY or small-shop kind of operation. Spend your marketing time wisely, or you might end up exploding like a heavy Rebel pilot.

So what’s the best marketing tie-in you’ve ever seen? The worst? The most baffling?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 2 February 2012 1010

    Remember ROM: The Space Knight ?

    It was a toy and comic book (I actually LIKED the comic – I still have the whole collection)

    • 2 February 2012 1047

      I don’t, but a quick Google shows me that it probably was pretty awesome. I must dig deeper…

  2. 2 February 2012 1147

    Still have all of them, LMAO….and no, never wanted, or got, porkins 😛

  3. Nate permalink
    3 February 2012 1231

    George Lucas named each and every one of the Star Wars characters. Just one more reason why I’m convinced that franchise thrived despite his best efforts.

    • 3 February 2012 1406

      I can’t remember if the guy was named “Porkins” in the script, but if he was… man, what a self-esteem crushing conversation.

      Lucas: Now you’re playing a Rebel fighter pilot.

      Actor: Sweet!

      Lucas: Named “Porkins.”

      Actor: …

      Lucas: See, his name is Porkins, and —

      Actor: I GET IT! I’M FAT!

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