It may seem odd to be applying a long-lost snippet of Victorian-era etiquette to the modern age of online social networking, but that’s exactly what Cambridge, Massachusetts-based marketing tech firm Get Solo and Lucasfilm have teamed up to do. The companies recently launched a new program that lets Stars Wars fans order licensed calling cards – the drop-in announcement kind, not the long-distance phoning kind – that they can give to new acquaintances made online and offline.
The custom-design and order process is all run on the web at starwars.getsolo.com, where consumers select their favorite Star Wars image (fighting Yoda tends to be a popular choice, says Get Solo president Alex Shah) to appear on the front of the card. The back is reserved for as much personal info as they’d like to share, from bare essentials like name, phone number and e-mail address, to interests/hobbies, MSN, AOL and Skype accounts, and website links to profiles on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Cards range from US$29.99 for 100 cards personalized on the back only, to US$59.99 for 500 cards and US$79.99 for 1,000 cards with premium personalization of the front image and back information.
While these cards aren’t official membership cards to the popular online community Star Wars Galaxies, Shah says they act very much like one, and they can be encoded as such if Lucasfilm decided to go that way. Right now, the cards give the hub’s loyal denizens a tangible way to exchange personal info in a social setting, encouraging in-person connection between folks whose previous interaction has taken place exclusively in cyberspace.
A card order comes with a digital version for perpetual use, and this is included at no extra cost. Shah debuted the calling cards at Comic-Con in July and was pleased to see that almost 4,000 people logged on to the website to register their information after the convention. CMO James McGeady adds that most people who place an order opt for the 500-card premium set.
Get Solo also has an incentive-based program, running contests to ID the most collected user, the biggest collection, the widest distribution, and so on. Its multi-year deal with Lucasfilm is the company’s first big license, and Shah says he’s currently in discussions with kids property owners to create more licensed cards for a wide range of demographics. He isn’t looking exclusively at evergreen brands and is open to working with new character-based properties that are trying to break into the market.