Report – IP 360

Posted on: Wednesday 05 July 2017 3:40pm

This session used real-world case studies to explore why some IP succeeds and some does not in today’s 360 landscape. By Guest Blogger Craig Hill


  • There is no one ‘magic bullet’; success in 360 comes from attention to detail across a wide range of disciplines including planning, finance, asset management, audience research, platform understanding, development timelines
  • A deep understanding of the child’s view of the brand, the storyline and characters is essential to be able to bring them to life in different ways on each platform, playing to the strengths of each
  • It is important to have a deep understanding of children’s play patterns and styles of interaction, and use each platform in the right way to match them
  • Encouraging off screen activities – reading, dancing, events – is becoming increasingly important to meet social responsibility demands



Using ‘The Next Step’, ‘The Deep’, ‘Hey Duggee’ and ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ as case studies, the panel examined different perspectives on the challenges associated with taking and developing a brand across platforms.

Alison Warner shared Technicolor’s development of ‘The Deep’ from its origins as a graphic novel initially into a show for broadcast in multiple territories, and then into a brand across multiple platforms. She stressed the importance of having and maintaining a clear vision of the storyline and characters, of detailed planning, working closely with many partners, thinking ahead and not compromising on important guardians of the brand such as style guides

Keith Davidson, Scary Beasties, focused on essential considerations when extending a brand on to mobile platforms, stressing the importance of prioritising gameplay over animation, and understanding the difference between active interaction through games and passive interaction with animations. Being realistic about availability of assets as well as the limitation of the mobile platforms saves time and money. He showed using typical app costs and revenues that though the audience expects brands to be accessible across all platforms, apps are only financially viable for the most established brands.

Christopher Keenan talked about Mattel’s recent incredible success extending ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ across digital platforms, including achieving billions of views on YouTube. He attributed this in a large part to Mattel’s investment in developing a deep understanding of children’s play patterns – autonomous, directed, social and open ended – and applying this thinking to its digital creative.

Aubrey Clarke gave a broadcaster perspective on 360 through the BBC’s development of ‘The Next Step’, including the challenges associated with expending across platforms where the production is produced in Canada. He outlined the use of social media to meet the show’s fans’ desire to have ‘real’ relationships with the characters, and practical ways the BBC developed short form content to meet the audience demand that came with the show’s success.

Lucy Gill asked the panel to comment on managing children’s screen time with multiple platform experiences in a socially responsible climate. Each panellist outlined how increasingly the digital aspect of their 360 experience was encouraging embodied, off screen experiences.

From a range of very different approaches to 360 development, what shone out was the importance of a clear overarching vision for your storyline or characters, and obsessive planning and attention to detail.

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