Ad of the Day: Target Celebrates the Wonderfully Real Moments of Being a Star Wars Fan

Retailer's site lets you add your memories too

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." 

CREDITS

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