Bold 4G Marketing by YTL: Did Lucas say Yes too?

Stormtropper by Joe Wight

If you were walking along the Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur) area last weekend, you may have bumped into a group of Stormtroopers (or Yes Troopers), the faceless grunts made popular by the Star Wars original trilogy, patrolling the said area giving out flyers promoting yes, the latest 4G broadband service in the Malaysia. These stormtroopers, with a big “yes” emblazoned on their armor, is part of a marketing campaign adopted by the 4G operator to generate a lot of interest for the brand and its upcoming mobile service that is slated to be launched on November 19, 2010. Yes.my’s flagship store will be located at Lot 10, which explains why the stormtroopers are concentrated in the Bukit Bintang area.

A check on the service provider’s website reveals that it has started an online pre-registration campaign to allow those who are interested in signing up for the service to pick a unique Yes ID and 018 mobile number. The website also reveals that Yes.my is actually the front for YTL Communications Sdn Bhd, which is a subsidiary of YTL Corporation Bhd, the largest non-government linked company in the 2010 MB100 survey of Malaysia’s Largest Listed Companies.

It will be interesting to see if YTL Communications Sdn Bhd or any of its marketing arms actually got the go-ahead from Lucasfilm Ltd. (George Lucas is the Founder and Chairman of the company), which owns the rights to Star Wars and its bevy of characters, to utilize the Stormtroopers characters to promote its fledgling service provider. Knowing how litigious Lucasfilm and its principal George Lucas can get (see here and here, for example), it can get pretty messy for the upstart service provider (and its parent company) should they fail to obtain any prior approval for usage of these characters.

Image credits: YES Troopers photos by Henry Lee and Stormtrooper cartoon by Joe Wight.

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