Carrot Creative co-founder and chief experience officer Chris Petescia isn't just a casual Star Wars lover. He's a nerf herder-level fanboy. Don't believe us? Look no further than his Twitter profile or his claim that he's watched each of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailers no fewer than 100 times.
He's such a fan that he didn't just score tickets for this Thursday's pre-release screening as soon as they went on sale six months ago. He bought out two whole theaters in midtown Manhatthan. Now, Petescia wants would-be employees and potential clients—in a kind of recruiting and new-business stunt in one—to join the Rebellion and prove their fandom by completing "A Very Star Wars Questionnaire" and, if they're lucky, sitting in on the screening along with all of his agency's 140 employees.
Staffers at Carrot, which was purchased by Vice Media in 2013, probably saw this coming. "I'm the guy with a life-size Stormtrooper in my office and an actual character named after me with a Wookieepedia listing," Petescia tells AdFreak. "There was no way we weren't going to do something really special for the new movie."
"Every employee is required to have seen the Star Wars trilogy," adds Petescia. And he's only partially joking, as Carrot vp of communications Len Kendall tells AdFreak that Petescia "will probably cry when [The Force Awakens] starts."
To attract candidates and curious brands, Carrot ran targeted ads on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and its employees shared links to the microsite, which is a point of pride among staffers. "We put a lot of work into the site in a very short amount of time," Kendall says, including the time required to write questions like this one: "The Falcon can make the Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs. Can you describe your business in 140 chars?"
Kendall tells AdFreak that the agency has received more than 100 submissions from job applicants and brand representatives, adding, "The prospect of seeing the movie a day early was enough to win people over." And yes, applicants are going all in: "They're playing along with the gag and writing things like, 'I have four years of experience living on Tatooine and developing websites,' " says Kendall.
Asked which galactic soap opera character best embodies his agency, Petescia (perhaps predictably) says, "Carrot is Han Solo. He represents us so well because he's versatile and he always goes for the challenge, even if he doesn't know he's going to pull it off. He just trusts that it will work out."
As Solo himself once put it, "Great, kid. Don't get cocky."
Petescia continues: "We have several copies of the trilogy just in case we find out one of our 140 employees hasn't seen it. It's too big a piece of pop culture for anyone to not have ingrained in their minds."
Notice he didn't mention the prequels.