Have you ever seen the movie The Player (great film)? Tim Robbins plays a movie exec (Griffin Mill) that accidentally kills a struggling screen writer he believes is sending him harassing postcards.
In a creative meeting, Larry Levy, a competitor of Robbins’ character at the studio played by Peter Gallagher suggests that movies can “write themselves” and ideas can come from anywhere…even newspaper headlines. Gallagher’s character then asks those sitting around a conference table to start reading headlines from the day’s paper aloud, giving movie premises for each (e.g. Bonnie & Clyde meets Driving Miss Daisy…). Of course it isn’t as easy as Larry Levy would suggest, and in the end, the studio ends-up paying the $1 million a script Levy said wasn’t neededed…even as a bribe to keep the person who actually did write the post cards from talking (his script was based on Robbins’ character killing the struggling screen writer). Live entertainment and events are different. You can harvest concepts from what’s right in front of you. Here are four places to start.
TV – For years, television has brought their act on the road. Recently we have seen tours from American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance (who should also do a dance camp for fans), and Glee. Culinary stars Guy Fieri, Anthony Bourdain, and Paula Deen (to name a few) have created real businesses through their live performances. There are even popular attractions in Vegas like the CSI Experience and Price Is Right where guests become part of the shows. And there are still an infinite number of ideas out there. Just take the shows with the word “War (s)” in them for instance.
How about Neighborhood Cupcake Wars or Storage Wars Showdown? You could have a Whale Wars educational tour presented by Greenpeace. AND if someone doesn’t produce a Project Runway tour for the fashion industry, I’m going to (in fact email me @ email@example.com).
FILM – Spider-Man, Shrek and several of Disney’s movies are on Broadway. Batman will be coming to an arena near you. Feld Entertainment has been entertaining girls and their moms for decades with Disney On Ice. Music peeps (Gregg Perloff and Spencer Churchill) produced Star Wars: In Concert. So what’s your idea? Maybe Stunts and Gadgets of 007, orCREATURES OF HORROR (highlighting the best movie monsters)?
MAGAZINES/PRINT – Rolling Stone has had their name attached to college tours for years. American Express Publishing (Food & Wine Magazine) owns upscale culinary events like the Aspen Food & Wine Classic. Fortune and Forbes have put their name behind many financial conferences and gatherings (e.g. Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit is in its 14th year). A story in March 5th’s Advertising Age titled “Events businesses are paying off for publishers” shows the profits publishers are making from their Live Entertainment extensions (included Fortune, Time, Newsweek, The Daily Beast, O Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times and Vice Media). Shoot I’ve even developed the Jeep World Outside Festival with Outside Magazine that played 23-cities in 5-weeks.
Let’s come up with ideas for publications…Men’s Health’s Adventure Days (could promote with Living Social, etc), Vogue Presents “What To Wear”, Cosmopolitan’s Secrets To Relationships, or People Magazines’ Celebrity Photo Gallery.
BRANDS – Nike does their Run Hit Wonder. Vans own a large piece of the Warped Tour. Heineken has sponsored many music festivals including their own. Almost every automobile manufacturer has “ride-n-drive” events. This is Branded Live Entertainment at its best.
Sears’ Craftsman Tools should start the Ultimate Handyman Show (like a home show hosted by their stars Ty Pennington and Bob Vila)… or based on their rank as the number one seller of exercise equipment, perhaps partner with NBC’s The Biggest Loser for a health expo? Brands should also go outside their box. For instance Coke has always put their brand behind sporting events. Why not Coca-Cola’s Sports Fantasy Camps?
Please share your ideas. There are plenty of places to mine from.