May The Force Be With You This Holiday Season

This holiday season, something unprecedented has happened; Christmas music has had competition.

Bullying its way onto the airwaves and into our subconscious has been the iconic John Williams Star Wars music.  While the original Star Wars movie opened naively in the month of May back in 1977, it is probably no accident that the first Disney-backed installment opened in the height of the Christmas shopping season.  Both the box office and merchandizing totals for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens are certain to demolish any previous records.

The premiere caused many of us to recall fond memories of our first introduction into George Lucas’ fantastical world.  In my case, my parents surprised us with a 90-minute drive to Tacoma to see the film which was followed by dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.  The fact that my brothers and I can still remember it clearly shows what a special day it was for us.  Sadly it also caused me to remember losing my cherished Darth Vader Tie Fighter several years later when it was left outside the evening prior to Mt. St. Helens erupting and burying it forever.  Once again, the fact that I remember this so vividly 35 years later shows how traumatic that was for me (probably more so than the volcano).

This blog is usually reserved for tips, trends and thoughts on digital media.  With a spectacular digital footprint including nearly 16-million likes on Facebook the folks at Disney probably don’t need our help at the moment.

But what I couldn’t help but notice was that for at least a few days, our perpetually gloomy news cycle was replaced by something nearly universally positive.  The dizzying frenzy that accompanied the premiere last week was truly unifying and seemed to span every age, race, gender and religion.  For the most part, people weren’t talking about the negative global events that seem to be all too frequent these days, they were talking about going to see a movie.  Escaping to a fantasy world for a couple of hours.  For some of us, it was a chance to catch up with our childhood idols like Han Solo.  For young parents who weren’t even born in 1977, it was a chance to take their kids to see the movie and create their own lifelong memories.  And having sat through dozens of painful kids’ movies over the last decade, I couldn’t recall the last time parents and kids were equally excited to see the same movie.

What does any of this have to do with digital strategy?  Nothing.  It has everything to do with the magic of the nearly global positive energy this film created, and the thought that if a simple movie can do this, then certainly there are plenty of good things out there for us all to shift our energy and focus to if we are so inclined.

At this special time of the year, we at Thin Pig shift our positive energy to say thank you to all of our wonderful clients for allowing us to help tell their stories.  We wish you all the very best for the holiday season with your loved ones.  And I want to thank our incredible team at Thin Pig for all of your hard work and making me feel positive about coming into work every day.

Now if you’ll excuse me, we are taking our kids to see The Force Awakens; with any luck they will remember it in 38 years.  If they’re good, we might just stop at the Old Spaghetti Factory afterwards.