A few weeks ago a war was ignited in the geekverse that centered around Kohl’s and Target stores’ gender portrayals in back to school commercials. While Kohl’s commercials titled “Be Yourself” featured girls running with Star Wars backpacks and dressing in Iron Man armor, the Target commercial airing at the same time did not. Going back a few months with Target, there was also the dust-up reported by Legion of Leia regarding a Star Wars shirt in the Men’s sections that had the label “most likely to be rescued” under the mock high school picture of Princess Leia.
Even though Target made huge headlines for removing gender labels in their toy aisles, the attacks continued. They seemed to be under heavy fire from Imperial Star Destroyers and Rebels alike.
Just as the two suns rise on Tatooine, a new day dawned in the marketing world. With it came the news about a tie-in to the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie.
Target launched its #SharetheForce Star Wars digital memory site. Being a huge lifelong fan I was probably an easy sell. I went to the site and, you know what? It is pretty amazing. Following the prompts, I was able to select who my favorite character is and then add my own personal photo memory to the galaxy of others.
The official press release brought to us by Bothan spies had this to say:
#Sharetheforce the first digital collection of Star Wars memories. The collection, which will include celebrity fans Minka Kelly, Chris Hardwick, and Bobby Moynihan, will go on to be archived at Lucasfilm-becoming an everlasting example of how we’re all connected by the Force. Until now, no one has attempted to collect and capture memories from the 147 million Star Wars fans throughout the world, and Target is introducing a unique program to unite these generations of fans in a way that only Target can do.
The “Share the Force” website offers an interactive and sharable way for fans to find their place in the Star Wars galaxy by including their personal memories, resulting in a collection that will span generations, cultures, and continents. Starting today, fans can submit their memories (either photo or story) at ShareTheForce.Target.com to transform their memory with a Star Wars hologram treatment and receive their own galactic coordinates pointing to their permanent place in the galaxy.
Yes, it is made-for-marketing merchandise, but it is also a cool shared experience for younglings to Jedi master alike. It is looking as if Target is gaining back some geek cred and using its Force for good.
Go upload your fun memories, old and new, and become part of the Star Wars galaxy. Those pictures taken on your cell phone cameras will one day be looked at with as much sentimentality as all our sepia-stained Polaroids. The Force will be shared and will be with us, always.