So, second – and final – day of the MIPFormats are done and dusted, and it’s time to evaluate what became of it. Generally speaking, I’m very much in favor of there being a weekend dedicated to formats (which I would, being a format developer by trade). There was reportedly 600 people signed up for this years MIPFormats, but I doubt all showed up at the same time, as I don’t believe there were that many people in attendance at any of the panels I took part of.
I will say that I was slightly disappointed in the lack of fresh-thinking stuff on display during these two days. The winner of the Fresh Talent Pitch was basically dating for seniors, with a bit of elimination and some sexy young bodies thrown in for fun. Not to take away from the creators of that format – I believe it will get produced, and I believe it will get ratings. It’s just doesn’t ooze newness in any way.
Furthermore, the formats that were shown later on in the day under different circumstances – from showcases by big companies to Fresh Format-looks at new stuff – not really much caught your imagination. Just twists on things we’ve seen before (while the Hypno-surgery format was a bit new, I’ll admit that, not that I’d probably watch it…☺ )
So, you say, do something better yourself then, eh? Yeah, I am trying to. I believe that the next-to-last panel I witnessed, which was the second part of the MIPFormats Interviews sessions – featuring Scott/Ogilvy, Morley/Sony, Brickle/Monterosa and Fenton/Zig Zag – talked the most about where we are heading. Brands are increasingly looking to integrate themselves into content. Producers NEED to look at how to integrate these brands, so that it is done in a natural, logical way and not forced upon the end consumer in the bullyish kind of way we’ve witnessed before.
We all know that the money that was in the TV industries – from the broadcasters that is – isn’t really there anymore. So fresh money needs to come into the game. IMHO this is where transmedia storytelling enters the fray, as this gives any creator a multitude of options to integrate brands into a storyworld, and brands a multitude of options to connect to content that fits in with their core values.
A very simple thought experiment – what if one of the side characters in a television show blogged about her life outside the show? And what if she, in that off-tv life, got a job at a certain brand? That brand could naturally be integrated in the show, and have it’s own, scripted life on the blog. Where it could tie in to real life events; when the character tweets about an upcoming promotional event – the next day the event is launched for real… blurring the lines between real and fiction, and creating engaging content.
I won’t delve further into the takes from the day, as you can see the sessions and read the comprehensive live blog by the competent people of ReedMIDEM and MIP here. Instead, I’ll have a beer and tend to that bloody foot of mine 😛
Remember, it is a kindness to buy formats from people with crutches!! 😉