Pop culture. I’ve written a handful of times about how powerful the right pop culture reference can be in your online video marketing efforts. One of the best ways to get initial attention for your video is to include some kind of reference to a popular character, product, or story. For the best example of what I mean, you don’t need to look any further than Star Wars–just ask Toyota if they’re happy with how that whole mini-Darth-Vader ad worked out or Tom Tom how pleased they were with their Darth Vader navigation spot.

A Hair Drier For Chewbacca?

This week, another brand is getting some viral action and serious buzz by leveraging one of the most beloved Star Wars characters of all time: Chewbacca.

Chewbacca, you see, is in the market for a new hair dryer–he probably goes through several every year with as much hair as he has. And it just so happens that the fine folks of Curry’s PC World happen to be the masters of matching customers with what they need most…we’d show you the video but it’s been removed. Sorry.

The video’s gotten great press from places like io9 and Buzzfeed, which helped drive initial views and propel Facebook action.

Where Entertainment Meets Messaging

This ad works on so many levels–it’s probably my favorite of the last few weeks. First of all, it’s hilarious. Just as with the Toyota and Tom Tom Star Wars ads, simply including a reference to Star Wars isn’t enough… the ad itself has to be funny or entertaining if that pop culture reference is going to gain you any mileage. You don’t have to be a huge Star Wars fan to get and enjoy the humor (because the character is pretty well known around the world already).

But in addition to succeeding with humor, the ad also succeeds at something else important in advertising: messaging. What’s the message? Curry’s PC World knows what you need. The tagline at the end actually reads, “Our staff are trained to help you find the perfect product for you.” Nice.

This is the sweet spot for brands seeking social video success–the balance between traditional advertising messaging and new-media entertainment content. It’s perfect. Unless, of course, they didn’t get George Lucas’ permission to use the character and the music, in which case the ad will likely be removed any day now. But the text message advertising Star Wars on Blu-Ray would suggest that this is a Lucas-approved endorsement.