The Walking Dead Escape will return to SDCC for a second year. Participants trudge through a course as either zombie or human. Live interactive games are gaining strength around the country, especially colleges. Live Quidditch, based on the Harry Potter sport, is a favorite pastime. One doesn’t need to be a Potterhead or a Zombie fanatic to partake in live games.
And as fans across the globe demand more interactivity in their content at all levels, Endemol, the owner of numerous properties including Wipeout, is extending its reach through licensed products. In fact, the company’s philosophy is unusual in that the products are a related entity but do not necessarily lead a consumer back to the original show.
Endemol is an entertainment studio. Licensing its properties internally has proven to be invaluable, with synergy being able to manifest naturally and rapidly. Should a license partner implement a whirling obstacle in its app Endemol can implement that in its TV show. That ability is unheard of with an outside agent who has little relation to the product other than client representative.
Each property is thought of as the company’s baby, and Endemol takes great pride and is protective of its brand. In an exclusive interview at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas with Kimilyn Whitaker, head of licensing at Endemol, Whitaker is adamant not to be a logo-slapper. Their new Wipeout line, Conquer, targets 8-15 year old boys with sporting goods, sleepwear, apparel, toys, calendars and posters, and more.
An Activision game will be out in October.
So prominent and innovative is the company’s philosophy that brands live on after the TV series is off the air. Deal or No Deal thrives in video games, publishing, board games, and more.
Currently the company is seeking more interactive properties though 95% of ideas are conceived in house. It’s not that they are unwilling to hear pitches. When they do respond to a pitch, it goes through a long development in which Endemol shapes it to their liking.
Debuting this fall are several new properties that Whitaker was unable to discuss. But she has already been at work developing ancillary products. And undoubtedly there will be more opportunities for license partners.
Wipeout won’t be at SDCC or D23, the Disney fan event, this year. That’s definite. But should there be a course in 2014 out in Petco Park, Whitaker promised me I’ll get credit for planting the seed in her mind.
Endemol is the creator of Big Brother, The Steve Harvey show, Redneck Island, and over 40,000 hours of television.