July 03, 2013 3:58pm PT by Graeme McMillan
Will Force-Choke for Food: Darth Vader Returns to Sell Pringles
The Force, it seems, is strong in one well-known snack brand.
Jim vs. Vader isn't just a new commercial for Pringles that features a guest appearance by a particular Dark Lord of the Sith and a lightsaber battle that's at least as good as Obi-Wan's showdown with Darth in the original movie. (We can all accept that that looks a little tame with hindsight now, right?) It's also the winning entry in a contest that tasked independent and fan filmmakers to create their own Pringles/Star Wars mashups.
The contest used Tongal, a company that pairs creatives and brands by essentially crowdsourcing the pitch-and-development process, turning each stage of ad development into a contest where the best or most successful ideas moves forward at the end of each "round," from the initial 140-character pitch to development and, finally, a finished video funded by the brand in question.
This particular contest -- dubbed "Force for Fun" -- took six months to evolve, according to Tongal co-founder James DeJulio, and this winning entry came from Erik Beck and Justin Johnson, who both claim longtime love of George Lucas' movie series: "Erik’s first prop was an AT-AT walker built from shoe boxes he made when he was eight. And one of the first movies I made as a child was a re-creation of the Battle of Hoth in the cold Wisconsin snow," Johnson explained on the official Star Wars site.
As an ad for Pringles, Jim vs. Vader is relatively subtle, and as a Star Wars short, it's fun enough. But as a Star Wars commercial, it's got a ways to go before beating this one:
That said, does anyone else feel like they could do with some chips right now…?