Usually when you're advertising in subways, the conventional method would be to use the paper posters found inside every carriage.
Subways trains are very popular for advertisers thanks to the large volume of commuters they see every day (The Yamanote line, which encompasses the heart of Tokyo, serves over 3.5 million passengers a day.
Instead of promoting the latest DVD collection of Star Wars through the usual medium, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in Japan created an elaborate advertising campaign which fitted lightsaver handrails in some of their subway trains. With the press of a button, the lightsabers light up and remain that way so long as you're holding the button down.
Reported in Japan Trends, it's the first time the handrails have ever been used in a campaign before but since they are in a fixed position, having a lightsaber duel with fellow commuters to pass the time is not a possibility.
That drawback aside, the idea is pretty clever and gave the campaign a lot of publicity. Apparently the idea for the campaign was shown to Star Wars creator, George Lucas who loved it and let's be honest, even if you weren't a Star Wars, who wouldn't like the idea?
The campaign was to promote the launch of Star Wars: The Complete Saga on Blu-ray DVD. The collection went on sale in Japan on September 16th.
[Also Reported in Digital Trends, Images originally from Japan Trends].