Imagine a single advertising campaign, so powerful that it lasted for over a decade, worked in more than 50 countries, was successful across TV, digital and social media and won multiple awards.
And now imagine that the brand did not need to pay for the campaign because broadcasters around the world funded every cent of it. And the more the campaign travelled, the more money it recouped, making it a highly profitable business.
Do I sound like a raving lunatic? This is the business of international television production, where scalability of content is key. The strongest TV formats are created with the potential to travel across seasons, territories and platforms. Each format becomes a brand in its own right. It may evolve and adapt to the nuances of the local market, but it has the same identifiable structure and values at its core.
These TV formats are conceived with great care, designed to have a long lifespan and international appeal. They are nurtured to keep them evergreen. They attract huge, highly engaged audiences who actively choose to spend time with them. They maximize an initial investment to become profit centres. This is because their lifeblood is their Intellectual Property, or IP.
Wouldn’t it make creative and economic sense to see global brands such as McDonalds or Nike create their own branded entertainment in the form of long-running international hits? To evolve “I’m Lovin’ It” into a family entertainment format, to turn “Just Do it” into a global competitive reality show? After all, Redbull took “It Gives you Wings” to create the world’s biggest branded content powerhouse. They embraced and grew their IP.