Imagine showing your grandfather a picture of Mickey Mouse, or showing your elders a picture of Shakthi Maan. Chances are that they would very well recognise those characters and have a vivid memory of it sometime when they grew up. People nowadays are more familiar with Captain America and Wonder Woman. But why should we care? How can this have an effect on our lives other than leaving childhood memories and a nostalgia factor? Now imagine a father taking his six year old child to a bag store a few weeks before his first day of school to buy a school bag. There are ten colourful bags with a variety of designs and facilities and just one bag with a shiny Spider Man picture. Which bag would the child choose? Now imagine yourself going to purchase a bag. There’s an American Tourister bag and a bag with Captain America’s sweet clean shaven face on it. Which bag would you be more inclined to buy?
This is where sometimes a fictitious character may appear to overshadow the popularity of a well reputed brand itself. A geek symbol might just be as money creating as a brand itself. But it doesn’t stop there. A fictitious character has flexibility that no other brand can achieve. A brand can only stand for its own product while a cartoon character can stand for almost anything. BMW will always be a car brand. Maggi will always be a noodle brand. Good day will always be a biscuit brand.
Bal Hanuman on the other hand can be a key chain, a school bag or a lunch box. Think about it. They sell Tommy Hilfiger suits with James Bond, Lexus Car with Black Panther, and Turkish Airlines using Justice League. The number of necks it turns. The number of eyes it attracts. All these numbers will be multiplied by the money it makes. Like each products have its own “market giant”, a gold standard company that dominates other minor companies. In case of smartphones, Apple is the top company, like Pepsi in case refreshments, and Microsoft being the popular brand in case of OS. Do you know who owns everything in geek world?
Marvel has made more than ten billion dollars so far.
The Star Wars: Force Awakens alone made two billion dollars in a span of few months!
The only 3D animated movies that we have heard or remember are Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and The Incredibles.
Do you know who owns Marvel Studios, Pixar and Star Wars? DISNEY. Yes, the company that once only had Mickey Mouse as its brand is now dominating the geek world. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. The ten billion dollars that Marvel studios had made so far is nothing. Because Marvel and Star Wars Toys alone roughly make forty billion dollars every single year! These numbers do not include the keychains and bags that have Iron Man in it which you buy in railway stations and roadside shops as they are not legit but plagiarized. All those movies you watch are nothing but a two to three hours running commercial for the toys.
A fictitious character by this way is considered as a property. You can compare Superman to VIT. VIT attracts students from all over India and Vellore as a town is benefitting from the student population and has a commercial advantage compared to any other town. Superman as a character does the exact same thing by attracting people commercially. Building or constructing a college physically brick by brick is no different from creating a character on paper. When it comes to the demography that actually goes to the theatre instead of its TV premiere during Diwali’s and New Year’s, it’s the college students who spend most money and time in theatre. But let us be honest. Compare the time you spend on binge watching a Netflix show alone in your room and the time you spend when you actually go watch a movie. You spend more time in front of your computer screen, not in front of the theatre screen and companies do know that. Imagine if someone makes a movie, not just any short film done by engineering students, but a legit movie done by a studio with top actors in Hollywood. The production company proceeds to release the trailer and then the whole movie online and then people would be watching it and reviewing it all within sixteen hours and not even one day. That DID happen on February 4 this year with a movie called Cloverfield Paradox which is the third movie to a franchise while the first two were released in theatres. The worst thing is people not only spend more time on online streaming but prefer online streaming services rather than actual theatres. So studios are now jumping into this online streaming service game that Netflix started. *Cough*Hotstar*Cough*
When a Studio decides to start such service, they make sure that they have enough content to keep the audience engaged. Guess which studio has enough content in the world? The one that owns cheesy movies like High School Musical with Zac Effron, Another Cinderella story with Selena Gomez, or literally Princess movies like Beauty and the Beast, Jungle book, The Lion King, Aladdin (Both Animation and Live-Action), and then Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars.
Yes. All of the above mentioned properties are owned by Disney. Now imagine that you subscribe to one online streaming website and you get to watch all of them whenever you want! That is what Disney is planning. By the year 2020 they are planning to launch such streaming service on their own.
Surprisingly, Disney still thinks that they don’t have enough content. So, to have even more content they decided to do something that no one was ready for. Remember a movie called Avatar that came out in 2009 which made 2.7 billion in box office and still no movie could ever beat that? Remember when everyone was talking only about that movie when it came out? That movie was made by a production company named 20th Century Fox. 20th Century Fox made movies like Avatar, Planet of the Apes, X-Men, Kingsman: Secret Service.
Although no one knows another fact about Fox. Fox has a division in India called Fox India which owns a majority share of Star India that includes Star Plus, Star Utsav, Star Gold, Star Sports 1, 2 etcetera. Well, all those channels and all those movies have just been BOUGHT by Disney last year during Christmas.
Now Disney does not only have Marvel and Star Wars fans but also our mothers and aunties who watch Diya Aur Baati Hum, Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon, etc.
This is another level of Monopoly that no one ever saw coming, something that everyone should know and notice.
All these serials and movies will only be a commercial to other endless chains of products that we use one day as discussed earlier. And they all started with a Mouse. Mickey Mouse.