Wednesday, October 31, 2012

On the Disney - Lucasfilm acquisition

League of Childhood Heroes: Disney buys Star Wars


So  this morning I woke up to the big news that Disney purchased LucasFilms in a $ 4 billion deal. Lucas Films is known for creating some of the biggest characters in movies and more importantly in children's imaginations all over the world like Darth Vader, Indiana Jones, Skywalkers, Obi-Wan Kenobi. In fact, Star Wars was the first to combine action and sci-fi together and made being a "geek" cool.
          George Lucas, the owner of Lucas Films and creator of these characters, had at one point said that he had originally stated that he had envisioned Star Wars as a 9 episode movie series. However, the last movie , the sixth, came out in 2005 and had left Star Wars fans wanting for more. However, any such initiative was nowhere in sight. Along with the acquisition, Disney immediately announced that the next movie in the series will come out in 2015 and will have Mr. Lucas acting as a consultant.
          This news has received mixed reception from fans of the Star Wars series. Most of them have been positive believing that they will now get to see more of their favorite characters onscreen and sooner. However, some have pointed out concerns that Disney's other characters share not many similarities with the Star Wars genre and Disney could possibly mismanage the franchise. My opinion is that some initiative is better than none at all. I want to see more of Vader and Siths and Jedis and wants to believe that Disney will do a good job.
          Twitter, of course, was flooded with messages from fans discussing the implications of these deals and some of the witty ones do seem to have a point. Some of the highlights:

  • Darth Vader and Mickey Mouse are cousins
  • Leia is now a Disney princess
  • Disney now owns 50% of our childhood imagination
  • Star Wars theme parks (yay!!)
  • Star Wars is worth 4 Instagram .
    • Regarding the last point, sure it seems like Lucas Films is worth 4 Instagrams. However, there is no doubt that Star Wars and Indiana Jones is worth much more to fans all over the world.  Disney, being the pioneers in developing imagination and childhood memories, would of course see the value. 
@akashdgm

Twitter Reloaded

           Sure, I joined twitter when first I heard of it a couple of years back. However at that point of time, Facebook was on its way up in India and twitter couldn't compete .
           Facebook had gotten so addictive at one point that I never logged out of it. However, of late I feel that I have hit my saturation level with Facebook, a sentiment echoed by many of my colleagues. Facebook recently stuck it out for an IPO (which failed to live up to it's hype) and this newfound pressure to monetize everything and display ROI to its shareholders has in my opinion made, what earlier was fun to its consumers, for lack of a better, uncatchy. My common sense tells me that there is very little chance Facebook will get better (I do hope they prove me wrong) .
           Twitter, on the other hand is growing by leaps and bounds in India. Twitter is a microblogging site where your message - text with image, video or any links - has to be contained within 140 characters. Does sound restrictive. However, when you really devote time to twitter, you realise that's exactly what makes it so challenging and fun. Twitter for some reason is much more convenient to use on handheld devices than on personal computers. If that is true, i think we can attribute twitter's late penetration among Indian users to the lack of convenient handheld devices - smartphones with better wifi internet speeds. The smartphone market has shot up in the country recently and twitter is much more easier to use on these than earlier.
           My own usage on twitter has been rocketing in the past few months . Close to 3000 tweets in one month. Followers rising by almost a 100. Sure, not many of the people I see on a daily basis or hang out with are yet active on twitter, though they do have an account. For me, I am still in the exploratory phase where I am coming to a whole new operating system and am figuring out what laws apply in this network. Twitter trends is the first thing I check when I log on. All you need is the right trigger to jump-start your wit machine. One occasions, I have been known to post close to 50 tweets in half and hour. Chelsea match-days are the best. Another feature is the stories section, where one can get to know the latest stories and what the "tweeple" are talking about right now.
           A number of Indian corporate houses are very active on Twitter. They run weekly competitions with  prizes. Would recommend you to follow some of these and win while tweeting. Make tweeting fun. Why twitter is better for businesses to use?
           There are these various levels of engagement businesses can achieve on social media. Twitter by its very nature, has the consumers creating the content for the businesses - something for which businesses have to put in a lot of effort on Facebook. If done properly, Twitter will be of much more value to businesses as a marketing tool to business than Facebook.

Do follow @SarcasticRover

and me @akashdgm