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Tongal and Pringles bring us DYI desecration of Star Wars

Something horrible-looking called Tongal is behind the latest Star Wars/[enter product name here] tie-in, where [enter product name here] = Pringles potato chips. 

Tongal gives people small amounts of money in exchange for their product-themed, crowd-sourced, social, viral, [enter other marketing buzzwords here] videos. As Tongal explains:

Launch a Tongal project and unlock new creative possibilities for your business through our unique process that will turn your core consumers into co-creators and let you discover a world of new creative talent capable of bringing new energy and inspiration to your brand.

A recent example of a Tongal campaign comes from this tweet: 

How exciting. Tongal's latest campaign is The Force for Fun, in which Pringles and prequels join forces to debase the Star Wars franchise further. Here's how Tongal explains it:  

Star Wars isn’t just a movie franchise: it’s a living, breathing, pop culture phenomenon, with a rich history and a limitless future.  Whatever you call it: if it entices fully-grown adults to dress up like Wookiees and wait in day-long lines wrapped around city blocks, its power can’t be doubted. 

(Fairly accurate so far.) 

Since the first movie made the historic breakthrough in 1977, Star Wars has influenced our language, technology, and even our collective view of the universe.

Now again in the Fall of 2013, you’ll be (for real) ducking blaster bolts and Lightsaber blows from Yoda and Lord Vader himself when Star Wars returns to the big screen with back-to-back releases of Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in breathtaking 3D!

For real?  

And grab a snack! Who can ever forget the irresistible taste experience when you first popped the lid on some Pringles? Remember how you admired each crisp’s curved symmetry, and finally crunched down on their flavor-filled deliciousness?! More world-shaking than: You’re your father!  And before you knew it, you were reaching for another. We know: the flavor Force is strong.  We know that these are the crisps you’re looking for. We know:  Pringles are a galaxy of goodness...

I can honestly say I have no recollection whatsoever of the first time I opened a can of Pringles. Nor do I recall admiring the potato chip's curves. And I'm pretty sure the line is, "I am your father!".  

Pringles has always prided itself on being a fun, wide-open-to-the-universe brand.  And why not? Pringles has always made snacking more playful, tasty, authentic, and unexpected.  Even a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.... 


So for Star Wars: Episodes II and III in 3D big debut: we want YOU to remind people how delicious Pringles really are.   And we want you to tie-in the world’s most iconic snack food with the biggest entertainment property in the universe.  

Pringles: bigger than grammar. 

And we have a new challenge for you -- because this time, we want you to really dig in...and make some ART.

Art? Really? Actually, no. Here's what Tongal really wants you to make

--Key Marketing Messages:

  • Pringles provide an irresistible taste experience and are bursting with flavor. 

  • For a limited time only, Star Wars returns to the big screen with back-to-back releases of Episode II: Attack of the Clones; and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in breathtaking 3D.  This special cinematic event offers the original, awe-inspiring experience of watching Star Wars in 3D on the big screen in surround sound in a communal time with your friends and family. We are giving fans and movie goers the opportunity to see and relive the thrilling story of a once great Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker, in his dark turn into one of the most well-known villains of all time- Darth Vader, in a whole new way. 

--Executional Mandatories:  

• Put Pringles at the center of the drama and portray both brands in a positive light.

• Inspire interest and excitement for the theatrical releases of Star Wars: Episodes II and II in 3D by including Star Wars iconography from Episodes II and III, Star Wars characters and music to promote the two movie event.

--Star Wars Branding Guidelines:

 • Primary character focus is on Yoda and Darth Vader.

• Make sure that the creative is fully integrated- This video should only work with the involvement of a Star Wars character…  If the Star Wars character could be removed and replaced with another character then the creative is not integrated.

• Do not put real world characters into the Star Wars universe, but Star Wars characters can enter into the real world. 

• Should be easily accessible for all. Viewers shouldn’t need a deep understanding of the Star Wars universe to understand the idea.

• Have fun with the Star Wars brand but don’t make fun of it or its fans.

• Star Wars character should not be directly touching, holding or talking about a branded product (i.e. Pringles).  Use of The Force to influence products is ok.  It is also ok for a character to carry non-branded/generic products, embellishments and accessories that cannot be seen as an endorsement.  

• Examples:

 • OK:R2-D2 handing a napkin to a person to wipe their mouth after enjoying some Pringles.

 • OK: Yoda using The Force to make some Pringles cans fly off a shelf at retail.

 • Not OK: Yoda saying “The Force is strong with Pringles.”

 • Not OK: Darth Vader holding and then eating from a can of Pringles.

• Character modifications should be in keeping with the tone of the film and should stay within the scope of the character’s true nature and personality, as well as support the brand equity and maintain the integrity of the film and the franchise.


--Pringles Branding Guidelines:

 • Handling of Mr P: He is a logo, not a living mascot.  He can be used in a static fashion but not as a living character. 

  • Crisps: The crisps can be actual photography or illustrations.  Their most defining visual characteristic is their fun hyperbolic parabloid shape (also known as the double saddle).  They are fair game in play (duckbill, etc) with people or without people.  They can be used within scenes (see the Sour Cream & Onion can diving scene for inspiration) or as flying objects forming shapes and patterns.

 • The eating of Crisps: Pringles should be enjoyed in a social, fun setting, not solo. Also, like most things Pringles are best enjoyed in moderation.  They should not be eaten in a giant stack and or beyond a serving size. 

  • Color: Pringles Signature color is red, but Pringles cans are available in a wide spectrum of colors.  The two other most popular colors/flavors are Green for Sour Cream and Onion or Yellow/Orange for Cheddar Cheese.

 • Tonality: Pringles are high energy, fun and playful.  Think: Ellen DeGeneres on her show.

  • Key Brand Attribute: Irresistible Taste Experience. Eating a Pringle is different from a eating a regular chip. There is an experience people associate with the unique can and crisp.  Everyone has their own way of popping the seal, pulling a stack, and snacking on a few. Nothing else is like a Pringle.


  • Key Historical references: Music and Energy.  Historically, Pringles advertising has brought the brand and the eating experience to life through song and movement (with catchy lines like “once you pop you can’t stop”).  That line has been retired (so please do not use it), but the irresistible experience remains true.  There is something magnetic, shareable and fun about eating Pringles.

--Target Audience:  Adults 18-49, particularly those that have a past affinity for the Pringles brand and are open to rediscovering it.

--Tone:  Fun, clever while maintaining the Star Wars brand’s spirit of epic adventure.

So we can all look forward to a fun, clever, crowd-sourced, Ellen DeGeneres-style Pringles/Star Wars commercial in which Yoda and Vader use the Force to manipulate (but not touch or eat) potato chips in 3D. Coming soon to a galaxy near you.

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