Old Chilean Beer Ads in Star Wars Movies Go Viral

Old Chilean Beer Ads in Star Wars Movies Go Viral
Published: March 05, 2024

The internet has a knack for unearthing forgotten gems, and this time, it found the beer ads that were edited into the television broadcast of Star Wars in Chile over 20 years ago.

The cleverly integrated commercials, featuring iconic Star Wars characters enjoying a bottle of Cerveza Cristal beer, have suddenly gone viral decades later.

The video posted on March 3 has since garnered nearly 32 million views.

In the realm of bizarre yet unexpectedly brilliant advertising, few campaigns have resurfaced to capture online attention quite like this.

A Daring Advertising Experiment

The mastermind behind this unconventional campaign was the Chilean advertising agency OMD Santiago.

Seeking a way to avoid disrupting the movie's flow with traditional ad breaks, they proposed the novel solution of integrating the commercials directly into the film itself.

Each of the ads features a Star Wars character getting a bottle of Cristal beer in a way that feels surprisingly natural within the context of the scene, except it ends with a jarring jingle.

The first ad showed up when Obi-Wan Kenobi got up to give Luke Skywalker Anakin’s lightsaber. But instead of the lightsaber, the chest is filled with ice and bottles of Cristal.

Another appeared when Yoda was training Luke in Dagobah, with Luke getting a can of Cristal beer stashed in a tree.

As Han Solo was talking to Luke about how he doesn’t believe “there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything,” Obi-Wan, who was listening in, stealthily pulled a beer can from inside his Jedi robe.

Another one is when Darth Sidious tells Luke that he can never turn back from the dark side like his father and Darth Vader says, “It is pointless to resist, my son.”

And of course, as Darth Sidious sits on his throne and extends his arm, a can of Cristal is suddenly summoned.

While the ads were undoubtedly creative and garnered local attention at the time, they also sparked controversy.

Lucasfilm, the production company behind Star Wars, deemed them unauthorized and a violation of copyright and advertising ethics.

A legal battle ensued, culminating in Lucasfilm winning the case in 2004.

Despite the legal dispute, the campaign achieved something unexpected — it won OMD Santiago a prestigious award at the Cannes International Festival the same year, with judges deeming it to be "genius."

The Rise of Cerveza Cristal Memes

Excerpts from the ads began circulating on social media platforms over the weekend, captivating audiences with their bizarre humor and unexpected mashup of pop-culture giants.

The internet's fascination with the campaign — both from the execution of the ads and the catchy jingle — cemented its place in online meme culture.

Memes were posted on X, and while some even confused the Cuban Cerveza Cristal from the original Chilean product advertised in the Star Wars movies, it was all good and everyone's still having fun.

The Cerveza Cristal ads serve as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of virality.

While the campaign itself may have been short-lived and faced legal challenges, the internet's ability to unearth and share forgotten content has given it a new lease on life.

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