From Promo Magazine, Mar 20, 2007 6:04 AM, PROMO Xtra, By Amy Johannes
Star Wars is invading a mailbox near you.
The U.S. Postal Service has transformed some 400 of its 280,000 mailboxes to look like the popular Star Wars robot R2D2 in support of the new stamp to be revealed March 28. The promotion is in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the popular franchise.
The R2D2 theme was chosen for the character’s likeness to an ordinary mailbox. The mailboxes can be found in high traffic locations in 200 cities, spokesperson Melissa Dodge said.
"When you see R2D2, the resemblance is just striking," Dodge said. "We couldn't pass up the opportunity."
The boxes will remain wrapped in the promotional images for three weeks. Each box promotes a Web site, USPSJediMaster.com, where consumers can watch a clip from Star Wars, in which robot C-3PO asks, "R2D2, where are you?" The next shot shows someone sliding a letter into the little robot. The last clip plugs the stamp's release in cliffhanger style: "On March 28, two powerful forces will unite." Consumers can submit their e-mail address on the site to be reminded about the new stamp, themed around Star Wars.
The main Web site features an image of R2D2 moving across the screen where visitors can also watch the Star Wars clip.
Already, people are buzzing about the promotion. Users of social networking and other sites are mapping out locations to some of the collection boxes. Others are posing for pictures as their favorite Star Wars characters next to the mailboxes.
"It’s been great," Dodge said. "People are really loving it."
While the USPS acknowledges fans' love affair with all things Star Wars, the agency is on alert for those who would like to make the mailboxes part of the personal collections. The USPS put the word out to fans not to tamper with the structures (that would be a crime) and asked local police to be on alert.
Online materials support the promotion.