Article by Mark Fisher, Chief Development Officer at Merlin Entertainments
In a fragmented media landscape the ability of global media companies to successfully leverage their intellectual property (IP) on varied platforms has become pivotal to building an enduring brand franchise.
Unlike many other forms of entertainment, location-based entertainment is becoming an increasingly integrated part of the broader family entertainment market. Attractions provide a deeper immersion in a brand or IP experience, building a different level of engagement and loyalty.
The Walt Disney Company’s $2 billion investment in two Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge ‘lands’ at their parks in California and Florida is a reflection of the increased importance attractions play in entertainment brand development. Visitors feel as if they have stepped into the movies themselves, opening the franchise up to a whole new generation of fans in the same instance.
The licencing market is estimated to be worth over £300 billion and represents an enormous opportunity, but for many companies being able to realise this through location based entertainment is restricted. This includes not only recognisable media brands, but other consumer segments too – from car manufacturers, to food and beverage companies, from fashion to sport.
At Merlin we are uniquely placed to support the growth of brands through our international portfolio. As Chief Development Officer of Merlin Magic Making I have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s most iconic brand entertainment holders, including The LEGO Group, eOne and Sony.
The level of trust placed in us by the IP owners and our collaborative approach has meant we can take well known concepts and brands and apply our creative expertise to bring them to life across a spectrum of different formats. From immersing LEGO movie fans in the downtown Bricksburg they’ve seen on screen in THE LEGO MOVIE World at LEGOLAND Florida, to designing an attraction tough enough for a ‘real-life action man’ like Bear Grylls – no day is the same!
The ever changing entertainment landscape provides endless opportunities for innovative, shared consumer experiences and it is incredibly exciting to be at the forefront of delivering the next wave of unforgettable entertainment, on a global scale.
 Annual Global Licencing Industry Survey 2018