In terms of fandom, Star Wars is one of the most powerful franchises in the universe. And with the impending release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Dec. 18, we're about to be inundated with the film's merchandising push.
But such rampant consumerism doesn't always have to be part of The Dark Side. There's a heart-warming joy and gleeful nostalgia to unwrapping Star Wars toys, which have been favorites of children across three generations.
Case in point: Target's latest campaign from Deutsch L.A. is a two-minute celebration of children's love for Star Wars. While it'd be easy to take a cynical view of the spot—that Target and Lucasfilm are exploiting or pandering to our emotional connections with the franchise—the reality is that the spot simply works.
"Target has played a role in bringing Star Wars to life since the franchise began in 1977, when we were all introduced to a galaxy 'far, far away' with thrilling adventures and battles between good and evil," said Rick Gomez, senior vp of marketing for Target. "We're excited to bring an innovative experience to our guests for what will inevitably be the biggest pop culture moment of 2015."
The retailer also created an online site, "Share the Force," which Target is calling (of course) a "galaxy" of memories that is expanded daily by contributions from some of Star Wars' estimated 147 million fans. The memories, shared as photos from social networks like Facebook or Instagram, will be permanently archived at Lucasfilm.
The site links back to Target where fans are then able to purchase various exclusive Star Wars merch, with items landing on "Force Friday," Sept. 4.
"We looked at the landscape of what people are doing around Star Wars and we realized that people are talking about the film and [the merchandise] but what no one was really walking about was this huge emotional connection that we all have to [the merchandise]," said Janet Higdon, creative director at Deutsch L.A.
"Star Wars is really special in that people love [the merchandise] as much, if not more, than the film," she said. "Star Wars is one of the only properties where you can hold up that vintage lunch box and people have an emotional connection."
Agency: Deutsch L.A.
Chief Creative Officer, North America: Pete Favat
Chief Digital Officer, North America: Winston Binch
Executive Creative Director: Karen Costello
Digital Executive Creative Director: Jerome Austria
Creative Director: Janet Higdon
Creative Director: Meghan DeRoma
Creative Director: Zaid Al-Asady
Associate Design Director: Greta Mantooth
Creative Director: Daniel Barak
Art Director: Drew Brooks
Senior Art Director: Patricia Ortiz
Group Creative Director: Tom Pettus
Social Art Director: Daniel Rosenberg
Social Copywriter: Ashley Milhollin
Experiential Art Director: Chelsea Ontiveros
Experiential Creative Director: Amy Boe
Senior Experiential Copywriter: Catharine Ogletree
Partner, Director of Integrated Production: Vic Palumbo
Executive Broadcast Producer: Mary Ellen Duggan
Senior Broadcast Producer: Jesse Ferguson
Senior Producer: Angela R. Barber
Executive Director, Digital: Pam Scheideler
Executive Creative Director, Platforms: Tara Greer
Executive Integrated Producer: IV Tench
Integrated Producer: Zarrin Maani
Executive Creative Director: Marc Gowland
Creative Technology Director: Brian Jeremy Kupetz
Associate Technology Director: Sean Schricker
Experience Design Lead: Jin An
QA Manager: Chris Suchy
Senior Experiential Producer: Acacia May
Concept Producer: Brittany DaSilva
Executive Concept Producer: Amy Seidner
UGC Research & Clearance: Six Degrees
Co-Founder: Gina Ragusa
Co-Founder: George Bartko
Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
Editor: Kim Bica
Animation Company: Laundrymat
Digital Production Company: MediaMonks