The U.S. postal service isn't known for its cutting edge marketing. (And no, stamps commemorating the international polar year don't count as cutting edge.) So maybe it's a good thing for the venerable letter carrier that outdoor advertising is hot again. As Inc. reported last month, companies have grown increasingly daring with their outdoor ads, designing them with their surroundings in mind and creating pitches that feel a bit like installation art. (Here's a slideshow of some of the best. My personal favorite is the barista trapped in the coffee machine.)

Now the Postal Service is getting in on the act. According to Advertising Age, the USPS will distribute 400 mailboxes shaped like R2D2. Thoroughly startled passers-by are to be directed to a Star Wars-branded website. (The URL is a good one:

Not only does this seem to me like a clever promotion—how could you not check out the website after sticking a letter into the little robot's gullet?—but the postal service apparently paid no royalties in connection with the campaign.

Read the AdAge the story here. This Star War's blog has some wicked pictures of the letterboxes.