BROOKLYN, NY; February 11, 2018—One of the best inadvertent case studies of a licensing program I can recall ostensibly centers on the imminent Broadway opening of Jimmy Buffett’s musical “Escape to Margaritaville.” But the guts of the piece are about “the Margaritaville® Mesquite BBQ Rub:” how Buffett the millionaire maintains the “authenticity” of his heavily licensed laid back lifestyle brand.
“This is America, and poor-quality licensed products are our birthright,” writes Taffy Brodesser-Akner in the Sunday New York Times.
“But Mr. Buffett won’t give you that. . . . He protects your experience of the lifestyle he sells in a way that someone living that lifestyle should be incapable of. . . .This is no longer a business. This is a cause.”
When did that metamorphosis occur for the ’70s singer/songwriter/leader of the Parrotheads? “Probably it was around the first time he put the Margaritaville name on a salt shaker-shaped pool raft labeled ‘Lost Shaker of Salt.’ Or went all-in on a brand partnership to sell a $499.99 Tahiti™ Frozen Concoction Maker®. Or when he signed off on the emblazonment of ‘I’m the Woman to Blame’ across a Tervis tumbler.”
There’s much more, from why he took over his own licensing (“because he could do it better than the people who were ripping him off with concert T-shirts that spelled his name as Buffet.”), and myriad ways “he could make sure that even when he left town [after a concert his fans] could still have the island getaway they so longed for.”
A must read.
Attending Toy Fair? Karen Raugust and I will be addressing the question, “Are You Ready For Licensing?” Sunday February 18, 3:30-4:30 p.m. as part of the Toy Association’s Licensing Content Connection seminars (free to registrants). Hope to see you there, or contact me at email@example.com to meet at another time.
The younger the consumer the less he or she cares which device they watch or listen to. It’s been apparent for several years now that they don’t think in terms of computer, stereo, smartphone, TV, radio, etc. They want their content on whatever device is convenient at the moment.
But they also don’t think in terms of film or a game or a traditional TV show or a Netflix or YouTube or other video. It’s all entertainment to them, a fact that is underscored by the way PBS Kids emphasizes digital games for its preschool shows; movies deliver trailers a year out and prolong the life of a release through, again, games and other online extensions; or TV shows extend their season with mini-episodes online.
All of this is cause for a wholesale re-thinking of how all forms of entertainment are marketed — let alone how entertainment consumption is measured.
A complaint that came up repeatedly at Licensing Expo this year from toy companies, movie studios, TV and video networks, and other IP owners, and which I’ve heard from people in music and other entertainment sectors as well, is how difficult it is to measure the popularity of a given movie, TV show, music recording, game or other piece of “content” across even the major platforms.
Whether YouTube or Netflix or Amazon or Facebook or Twitter or Spotify or… the owner of a piece of intellectual property has to go into each platform’s analytics independently, with no shared interface to simplify the process.
For marketers that means learning a host of analytics systems when all they really want is “the numbers” and probably aren’t statisticians. For large companies with dedicated departments that’s not a big issue. For anyone else (and that includes most companies), it is a very big issue indeed.
Is there anything out there that aggregates this wide range of user data across platforms?
Does it really matter if Woody Allen ever delivers an online video series for Amazon? It’s hard to say how tongue-in-cheek Allen’s quote to The New York Times was, but it could well be it should be taken at face value: “I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas, and I’m not sure where to begin.” The Times headline on the story was what Amazon was really after: ‘Allen Deal Reiterates Amazon’s Intentions.’ The presence of Allen’s name on its roster ups Amazon’s profile in its battle with Netflix over attracting the best and brightest. It’s not that Allen generates big box office at the movies; but few artists (especially at 79) carry as much prestige in the creative community Amazon needed to reach.