One of the wonderful things about international and cross-cultural collaborations is that we can meet and interact with our favourite franchises in many places – from family entertainment centres (FECs) to larger themed attractions like parks.
The core of a franchise, its IP (intellectual property), can become a beloved attraction thousands of kilometres away from the place it originated, with the right IP adaptation.
Creative teams worldwide are working together to recreate the feeling and experience of a storyworld and adapt them to the newly built parks, centres, rides etc. Besides the practicalities and legalities, this process consists of a careful story adaptation and integration into the attraction type.
Here are 3 practices to remember for IP adaptation and integration into themed experiences. We have learned these principles over the years and continue to apply them.
Not everyone will know about the original IP and the storyworld
No matter how popular a particular story or character might seem, the chances are that not everyone in the audience will know about it. So assume that you are presenting it for a new audience and create relevant and exciting experiences for anyone. Invite your guests into a world they will discover through activities and locations they will visit. But don’t forget to leave some Easter eggs for the fans of the story; they will appreciate the effort.
Remember to consider the cultural context
What is popular and relevant in the USA might not be the same in Denmark. Therefore, besides the usual market and consumer analysis, consider how you will conduct cultural bridging. The key is to create a familiar enough environment for the local audience and present shared values.
The authenticity is in details and subtleties
You can translate the different rules and dimensions of a story universe into experience execution. Offering an adaptation that is true to the IP rules ensures a consistent representation across continents and cultures. Furthermore, having a multi-disciplinary team will help create this adaptation. This team must also include “story guardians” who make sure that the experience follows the rules of the story universe and the characters stay true to their personalities and values.