The new film in the Star Wars franchise, The Force Awakens, is all anyone in the movie world can talk about. It is highly anticipated by fans of the franchise, so much so that tickets to its premiere were sold out within seconds of being put online. There is an opportunity here that is rare for newly released films. Some would think that marketing for the film is unnecessary, since the Star Wars series already has an enormous fanbase. Disney, however, saw things differently. Instead of taking a lazy approach to marketing for The Force Awakens, it and other companies decided to try a different tactic to spread word about the movie, and sell related products.

These companies realized that many people have a personal infatuation with Star Wars. A number of fans grew up watching the series, buying the Star Wars merchandise, and reenacting scenes with plastic, light-up lightsabers. Of course, there was a setback in the fanbase when George Lucas released the prequel films, but the new movie has remedied that by bringing back the beloved actors/characters from the original films.

Disney took over for George Lucas and brought back the fans by releasing hints about how this new film will connect with the originals, and old fans who have since grown up were drawn back in immediately.

Star Wars is very much a household name, and companies selling its products, such as Walmart, have seized this as a unique marketing opportunity. They have reignited the sales of their Star Wars merchandise by marketing the franchise to families and people reminiscing about their childhood. The franchise is being marketed as a real-life Toy Story – as something that will make adults regress into the carefree children they once were, with lightsabers and X-Wing fighter ships.

This approach to marketing has spread across companies selling Star Wars related products. New commercials are popping up whose sole purpose is to induce nostalgia in fans of the franchise that yearn to go back to the wonder of their childhood. For example, there are advertisements in which parents are passing their knowledge of the Light Side and the Dark Side to their children.

It is almost terrifying how effective these tactics are in making people further invested in The Force Awakens but, hey, that’s good marketing, right?

Being able to take an already-existing fan base and grow it beyond even its generation shows that these companies know what they’re doing. An effective campaign makes its target audience feel emotions that draw them closer to what is being sold. In terms of Star Wars, many companies have done just that.

To read more about how companies are marketing Star Wars, check out this article by The Week.