Much like Star Wars itself, Pepsi's tie-in campaign begins halfway into an elaborate story full of space flight and sophisticated animation.
BBDO New York worked with Industrial Light and Magic, George Lucas' special-effects company, to create the computer-generated "spokesalien," Marfalump. Michael Patti, executive creative director at the agency, said, "Lucasfilm is very protective of their characters ... So we thought, why not create our own?"
The back story: The cuddly extraterrestrial fell to earth in 1975, was adopted by a nice Iowan couple and quickly became Star Wars' and Pepsi's biggest fan.
In the new ad (shown here), Marfalump uses Pepsi's commemorative cans to re-enact the entire movie, complete with voices, in 30 seconds-to the dismay of his (human) date.
Will viewers get it without knowing the history? "You know, we don't really care," Patti said. "There are some things that are better left unexplained."
Perhaps Lucas thought the same thing when he made Episode IV in 1977. -Emily Fromm