The IP Crowd – Report

Posted on: Friday 04 July 2014 1:19am by Katie Simmons

With media and publishing increasingly brand obsessed, and the ‘fewer, bigger, better’ approach dominating, is convergence between media and retail an inevitable future?


  • At the heart of any successful brand is a great idea.
  • Success in one medium does not always translate to another.
  • The offiial colour of the Clangers is ‘Old Rose’.

Session Details

IP Crowd session was a discussion between leaders in publishing – Belinda Rasmussen 9Macmillan Children’s Books); TV production – Anne Brogan (Kindle Entertainment) and somewhere in between – Jeremy Banks (Coolabi Group).

The heart of any successful publishing brand or TV offering is the idea. Wherever that idea may have come from story is the heart and the start. The panel were of the opinion that a success in one medium, does not always translate to a success in all, and a convergence isn’t necessarily the way forward.

John Lomas highlighted the existing relationship between publishers and producers and raised the question of whether this is going to continue or will there be a more converged  future by going to market with a combined publishing and TV property?

Anne, Co-Director of Kindle Entertainment (Which is 7 years, 7 months and 7 weeks old next week!) spoke with passion about the need for TV producers to seek out ideas for great content wherever it may come from – be it a book, a person, a child, or a member of the production team.

Anne has been at the creative heart of numerous TV properties which began as books; ‘Treasure Island’, ‘Dustbin Baby’ and more recently, ‘Hank Zipser’. Kindle also has 5 projects in development with books as the underlying IP. She believes that having a wider relationship with the publisher is important, but that the idea has to develop in the medium that it was conceived for.

Belinda from Macmillan said she has a lot of dialogue about what is and isn’t in keeping with the brand and often, television doesn’t come into it. From the publisher’s POV it’s always about brands. All the panel echoed that the power of brand is the emotional connection.

Coolabi, (who have bought the entire UK stock of Old Rose colour wool to knit the Clangers), has TV and publishing side too and take on different approaches to keep these brands going. For example, their successful book franchises ‘Beast Quest’ and ‘Rainbow Magic’ won’t necessarily work as a TV offering. Children often read lower than what they watch on TV. Jeremy suggested there was a healthy amount of discussion about this within the company. Like Macmillan, Coolabi’s priority is to preserve the integrity of their brands.

Anne echoed the point that brands don’t necessarily translate across media. It’s really hard to take the essence of a book and make it work in a different medium. You’ve got to make it not just as good but better! As the audience have already experienced it, they want even more – even better!

Anne and Kindle’s passion for story telling and content with real heart was resoundingly clear. They, and the audience, have got to LOVE the book, love the characters, love that world that the author has created, feel that excitement, and have that connection.
Despite an agreement that a diverse team can be advantageous, all the panel agreed that books and TV are v v (note the 2x vs!) different. As a consumer they seem similar, because you’re experiencing the same world and experience. But pace, thought process, character development complexity, access to characters’ inner worlds etc. makes the demands of creating the property v different.

It seemed unlikely that this panel would develop the two side by side – but that doesn’t mean the other can’t come quickly after!

It seems this discussion comes back to the core of children’s content – story is the heart and the start of any successful brand.

For full details of the speakers, check out the Session Guide here.

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Katie Simmons, Writer and Development Producer – Freelance

About the author

Katie Simmons

Freelance, Writer and Development Producer

Katie has been involved in the creation and development of many well-loved brands including 'Show Me Show Me', 'Mr Bloom’s Nursery' and 'Numtums'. She has also been the creative lead on projects that are developed for the commercial, worldwide audience. Katie is also an experienced children’s scriptwriter and her credits… Read more