Toho Studios Consulting

Do What You Love Better

Pursuing a lifelong dream and deep love of the Godzilla character and franchise, we approached iconic Toho Studios with an entrepreneurial partnership opportunity to broaden the Godzilla IP portfolio into a 360-degree entertainment strategy as a marquee immersive experience property. Leveraging the rich cultural film history of Toho Studios, artistry of Japan, and deep franchise assets, we developed a comprehensive brand strategy, vertical integrated business structure, global financial models, and portfolio of experience opportunities.

PROJECT Type

Brand expansion, 360 degree IP and entertainment strategy, entrepreneurial partnership

Location

All locations outside of Japan

Client/PArtner

Toho Studios

The
Challenge

How do we position the character and parent brand behind a successful multi-interpretation film franchise/product licensing portfolio into a series of cohesive stories and experiences that transform and translate the character and brand into a global experiential entertainment property? How do we translate each of these into digital experiences and immersive real-world experiences with a sustainable licensing and operational business model? How can we create new relationships with the characters and brand that touch new audiences, expand demographics, and nurture a new generation of fans? How can we work with Toho and also support and complement what they have agreed to with Legendary? Identify how the global brands may co-exist and compliment each other (Legendary’s Monsterverse is a separate universe outside of our scope–and we love their Godzilla too!).

Pictured poster art created by: My Pet Dinosaur, and Mondo Artists: Jared Muralt, Phantom City Creative, and Francesco Francavilla

The
Approach

To build a strong relationship base, we guided the client team on an international tour of theme parks, including an industry overview, exploring the fundamentals of experiential design and storytelling, destination business models, best practices, team-building and operations. Having previously lived in Japan, Louis also spent significant time in Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Tokyo reacquainting himself with deep Japanese culture to ensure that what we would create would reflect the desires of the Toho creative team, and be reverential of Japanese culture and the sensibilities and symbolism of Godzilla. He spent time going through the Toho material archive doing research on available techniques and content, achieving a lifelong dream of seeing the Godzilla film tokusatsu made by the Toho team. Then, leveraging the client’s rich library of popular content, we developed a strong unifying brand story to build a bridge with a wider audience in the destination space.

The
Solution​

  • Strategic brand development of iconic brand properties for adaptation to destination entertainment models, including creative, conceptual, and narrative development of key brand assets.
  • Identify, and become approved, as an owner representative and global liaison.
  • Toured with clients internationally, introducing and guiding the team to meet the global owner, manufacturer, supplier, and talent population.
  • Performed extensive licensing services globally.
  • Organized and led business modelling across portfolio.
  • Ideated immersive experiences for each of the portfolio assets.
  • Identify verticals, trans-media outlets, and licensing opportunities.

The Results

Hoping to partner with Toho on bringing Godzilla to life around the world post COVID.

Our
Scope

  • Financially invested collaborator in relationship
  • Intent is to realize long term executive consultant / partner role
  • Brand development and adaptation
  • Experience design
  • Strategic planning
  • Budgeting
  • Global financial and licensing modeling
  • Creative development
  • Creative and technical advisor
  • Team building
  • Licensing advisement
  • Toured global industry with representation team articulating experiential analysis

More Work

Covering more than 326 acres, the Jiulongkou Scenic Area is an ecological and cultural treasure located in Jianhu County in the Jiangsu Province of China. Jiulongkou—or “mouth of nine dragons”—wetland park, takes its name from the convergence of nine rivers that come together to form Sheyang Lake. The surrounding area is rich with cultural heritage–Jianhu is the home of the ancient Huai opera. Spring Group, the parent company of Spring Airlines and IP holder with a deep portfolio of destination assets, chose Jiulongkou as the site for a major lifestyle, entertainment, and ecological tourism destination.

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