Dropping the dead donkey... does the nativity really need a digital makeover?

Our final blog post of 2016 finds our friends at madeupagency focusing their creative energies on the traditional primary school nativity play...

Granary Square
DigitalNativity

From: primateofdigitalgospel@madeupagency.co.uk
To: headteacher@sirclivesinclairjuniorschool.co.uk

Dear Sir
Thank you for approaching us with your query about your upcoming nativity play, we're delighted that you so admired our recent work with Santa Claus on his digital transformation project. Promoting early-years digital advocacy is something we at Madeupagency are passionate about, so we’re more than happy to help you inject a sense of genuine digital relevance into your own production.

I’ve had a brief run-through of your current script with our under-eights digital evangelism team, and we certainly feel there are a few ways where digital can subtly be introduced to the traditional nativity narrative without alarming the Daily Mail readers you are so right to fear…

Scene 1: The set-up
We get the need to establish why our heroes need to go to Bethlehem – and why it will be busy – but a census? Physically travelling somewhere in order to fill in a questionnaire makes absolutely no sense in the digital age. What we need is a critically important, high-profile event that every tech-savvy citizen is honour-bound to attend in person. Suggest that instead of Pontius Pilate decreeing a census, you go for Tim Cook announcing the Judea leg of the global iPhone 8 launch tour.

Scene 2: The journey to Bethlehem
Clearly, travelling by donkey is a no-no. The digital travel space is owned by one organisation, so if you’re talking about a digitally relevant nativity, it’s going to have to be Uber. We get that the donkey symbolises our protagonists’ humble backgrounds and that the journey is supposed to be a true test of endurance, so let’s just make it a basic Uber (overlooking the fact that an Uber XL from Nazareth to Bethlehem is a still-very-reasonably-priced 100-135 shekels outside of a surge). Oh, and to add to the travel trauma, let’s make it clear the driver was a real one-star sort, two at the very most.

Scene 3: No room at the inn
Hands up who’s had an AirBnB host let them down in the past? See… another relatable issue for Mary and Joseph to deal with. An apologetic customer support agent doesn’t have any alternatives (the iPhone launch, remember?) and there’s nothing on Booking.com, while TripAdvisor can’t help at all. Then, at the last minute, Joseph remembers he signed up for couchsurfing.com when he went to that carpentry convention in Nob a couple of years ago. His account is still active, and… boom! There’s a guy offering a couple of bales of hay and a manger at his inn round the corner.

Scene 4: The three wise men
Thanks to our Joseph location-tagging the first images of the newly arrived son of God on his Facebook post, our digitally savvy three wise men already have a rough idea of where to go, so no need to bother with astral pathfinding (Google skymap is so 2006, after all). Instead, we see Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar (coincidentally the names of Madeupagency’s three heads of conceptualised delivery ideation) being drawn to the stable by the twinkling lights of an Amazon delivery drone. They arrive just in time to supervise the handing over of their gifts of a Hatchimal, a pair of touch controllers for the Oculus Rift and a bespoke Abel & Cole hamper.

We hope you find these suggestions useful, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further advice on how to find the true meaning of digital... (sorry) Christmas.