Exclusive: Pop Star Colbie Caillat Updates ABC Family’s “25 Days of Christmas”
ABC Family has updated its long-running “25 Days of Christmas” celebration’s theme song with a reinterpretation by pop singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat, network officials told B&C. Caillat composed new lyrics and re-orchestrated the music for the song, which she will perform in a music video premiering Nov. 22 on ABC Family. The network will launch the 13th year of its “25 Days of Christmas” event Dec. 1, featuring more than 200 hours of holiday-themed programming running through Dec. 25.
“[She] has recomposed the song in such a way that when you hear it, you literally want to hear it over and over and over again,” says Michelle Walenz, ABC Family senior VP & Creative Officer. That’s good news for ABC Family’s regular viewers—the song is set to play every 15 minutes on the network beginning Thanksgiving Day. But it won’t be another repetitive holiday jingle. The theme song will be incorporated into short promo spots for the event, and will only be heard in its entirety in Caillat’s music video, available in 60- and 30-second versions.
The network’s holiday push predates ABC Family’s focus on programming for a Millennial audience. So the theme song update is not just a matter of updating the event with a more current sound, it also syncs it up with its brand strategy, considering Callait fits right in with the net’s target demo. “Colbie is incredibly authentic and real as a person and as an artist and we believe that our brand is indeed that as well,” Walenz says. “Our original series, our original movies and everything we do really speaks to the authenticity of the Millennial generation. And Colbie is that person—she’s incredibly bright, she’s warm, she’s beautiful, and she really is a Millennial that watches our network. The fun, the youthful feeling that she brings to ‘25 Days of Christmas’ couldn’t be more perfect for ABC Family.”
Walenz says the update merges the network’s old classics with new movies and new music to create what she hopes will become “new classics” for Millennials and their families to enjoy for years to come.
Moreover, the event provides a crucial platform for the network to relaunch series Pretty Little Liars and Greek in early January, as well as an opportunity to continue building on its original movie franchise. “We didn’t want to throw out anything. We just wanted to give [the event] a little ‘freshen up,’ and we thought the theme song was a great route to go,” Walenz said. “We absolutely wanted to retain every aspect of our theme song that we love so much, and Colbie helped us take it to a new level.”
The video is directed by Michael Blum, president of Riverstreet Productions, whom Walenz says shares the same warm, authentic style that the updated theme embodies. It features a hip update on a winter wonderland—complete with an Airstream trailer and Caillat playing guitar on a snow-capped tree stump.
Beyond the video, Walenz says the network is currently in talks to release the song on iTunes, though no definitive agreements have been made. The song will also be featured in radio promos, on other cable networks and in part of Disney on Ice, as well during screenings of the upcoming Disney film Tangled. “We’re really trying to maximize the song to its fullest potential and use our partnerships to their best [advantage],” Walenz said. “To have [Caillat] represent us just felt like a dream come true.”