Updated: Nov 26, 2019
I recently took an unexpected trip to see ‘Big’, the musical in London’s West End. I
was there with university friends and we had the opportunity to take in a show.
Being a little out of the theatre loop, I didn’t even know there was a musical
about Big, but I grew up in the eighties and Big, the body-swap movie starring
Tom Hanks, was a pretty big deal.
Big is the story of a gawky 12-year-old kid wishing he was big - and you guessed
it, his dream comes true. The next morning he wakes up as a 30-year-old man.
We all make ‘the wish’ at different times in our life, we wish we were big; we wish
we were older, younger, smaller, thinner, prettier, smarter, more successful, we
wish we had more money or more time, we wish we had the big house, the big
car. If you asked what most people would wish for, most would say to become millionaires so they don’t have to work.
Unfortunately for most grown-ups, ‘work’ can be seen as just that. If you Google
search ‘work’, similar words that come up are; labour, toil, exertion, effort, slog,
drudgery. Hardly inspirational or aspirational. We live in a society where the idea
of work is boring, it’s the rat-race, the 9-5, the hum drum. People live for the
weekends, for payday, they hate their boss, their colleagues annoy them. Or it’s
highly stressful, they want to be the best, it’s cut-throat and if you want to be
successful you have to work hard and screw other people. This is the world that
Josh finds himself in when he lands a dream job testing toys at a big toy
company in NYC.
What I love about Big is that when Josh (in this version played by Jay McGuiness, formerly of the Wanted, and best known for winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2015) enters the adult world, he is a breath of fresh air. All the other grown-ups are stuck in a rut, moaning, not living their best lives. He brings a wide-eyed wonder to adult life and he takes his job literally - he tests toys and he plays. Through
this playing he revolutionises the toy company, rejuvenates the big boss by
accessing his long suffocated inner-child again. Even the marketeers in this toy
company have become more interested in the data and reports than the actual
products and ultimately what the end consumer, the children, want: toys to play
marketing, we adopt a refreshingly playful attitude and view our clients with this
wide-eyed wonder. We can be this breath of fresh air. Clients are often so close to
their businesses and involved in the operations that they do not have the time and space to step back and analyse (see with new big eyes) what the business
needs. Sometimes it can be the simplest thing. That’s why adopting a child-like
approach to clients' pain points can work in what we do. Often things have
become over-complicated. We can ask questions, get back to the basics, the
crux, ‘What does the business do for the customer?’, and then amplify that
message in all the right places with our niftyverse (Josh would love the
It’s why we love PR and integrated marketing. It’s why we love what we do.
Can you bring more play into your job?
"Research has found evidence that play at work is linked with less fatigue,
boredom, stress, and burnout in individual workers” - Association for Psychological Science.
“Playing with your romantic partner, friends, co-workers, pets, and children is a
sure (and fun) way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities,
and emotional well-being.
"Success at work doesn’t depend on the amount of time you work; it depends
upon the quality of your work. And the quality of your work is highly dependent
on your well-being" - HelpGuide.
So remember to play, smile, breathe, laugh – have fun.
Be more Josh.