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Darth Vader is actually the Dodge Viper, claims Dodge (really)

Technically Incorrect: As brands keep leaping into the "Star Wars" hype-a-thon, one brand thinks it's being very clever. But is it?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Surely you can see the resemblance.

TwentyOneAds/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It might be instructive over the next couple of weeks to hold a competition for Best Star Wars Brand Integration.

So many products seem to believe that by finding some way, any way, to tie into "The Force Awakens" their brands will live long and prosper.

I worry.

How many of these tie-ins provide anything more than a piggybacking that suggests a lack of self-worth?

I'm confused, for example, by a new ad for the Dodge Viper. Its premise is that white Dodge Chargers, Challengers and Durangos are Stormtroopers and that a black Dodge Viper is Darth Vader.

Should one conclude, therefore, that bad boys drive Dodges? Should one conclude that, say, anyone in a purple Dodge Viper is a really nice person? Is this all an artful Dodge?

My confusion is heightened because, just a couple of weeks ago, Fiat Chrysler presented the Dodge brand as being part of "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2."

Is the idea that the poor creative people have to contrive scenarios that somehow reflect different blockbuster movies?

Fiat Chrysler didn't respond to my request for comment. However, its chief marketing officer, Olivier Francois, told Ad Age: "Having our brands be part of the global conversation surrounding one of the most anticipated movies in recent years provides remarkable worldwide exposure for our Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and Fiat brands."

Disney/LucasFilm signed deals with seven brands to officially hop on its back: Covergirl & Max Factor, Duracell, Fiat Chrysler US, General Mills, HP, Subway and Verizon. Of these, perhaps HP's ads have perhaps enjoyed the most wit.

It seems odd, though, to align cars that are somewhat mundane with all the rather swifter flying space vehicles of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Will this automatically make them "part of the conversation"? Will the mere thought of Dodge Viper = Darth Vader immediately imprint itself into every human head?

Or is it all a little, shall we say, forced?