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Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter and the wizard that got away

At 12.00 am July 21, 2007, we will witness something extraordinary, the like of which may never be seen in our life time.

Harry Potter is officially the new $15 billiion man. Publishers, movie studios, theme park owners, children, young at hearts, toy marketers, packaged foods marketers - the enthusiasm and money altogether has reached an alltime high.
So how much is Harry Potter really worth?
A calculation done has provided startling results. According to the AC Nielsen research
1. Author J.K. Rowling herself is worth $1 billion
2. Harry Potter himself is now the 30th most wealthy individual in USA, even wealthier than the likes of Micheal Dell (CEO Dell) and Eric Schmidt (CEO Google)
3. Some of his grand revenue sources are - Advertising ($380 million), DVD sales ($1 billion +), packaged good licensing ($11.8 million), music ($13 million+), books ($9 billion), movies ($4.4 billion) etc.
With so much hoopla around the boy wonder, what are we doing in our country to capitalise?
While an extravaganza like this is a marketers dream, its sad to say that we have completely missed the Potter bus here in Bangladesh. Sure, Etc. and some book stores are doing in house Potter fair, competitions and book promotions, but that is definitely not enough. Here are some of the missed opportunities
1. Harry Potter has replaced "Dalim Kumar" in childrens heart, but english illiteracy is a challenge. Any book publisher could have acquired the license of Harry Potter latest installment, and go for Bengali translation (not pirated). This could have increased the appeal to those children who would love to read Potter books but cant do so because of english illiteracy. (Criminal company - Sheba Prokashoni!! Where are you?)
2. There is this big hype about what happened to Harry Potter at the end and who are the two person who died in the book. Marketers could have capitalized by running contests for people who can correctly guess what happens in the book and reward them accordingly.
3. TV channels or Star Cineplex could have bought the right of old Potter movies and shown them during this time. As all children are in the mood of revising old stories before diving into the new book, this could have been an wonderful opportunity
4. Bangladeshi bags and other merchandise owners could have also tagged along, by selling Harry Potter licensed goods.
5. Some event management company could have organized a big Potter Event in Wonderland by transforming it into a Harry Potter theme park for 1 day, inviting children from all over Bangladesh to join and celebrate

6. Some newspaper or magazine could have published a special Potter supplement and sell it separately in news-stands from the day of the launch.
These are just random thoughts. But i am sure with some conscious group efforts, something much more grand could have been done here. What remains to be seen is if we learn from such missed opportunities. Our neighbours have made big strides in aligning themselves with global events like this. How long will it take for us?
Shahriar Amin is a full time brand enthusiast who is the creator of the first brand blog in Bangladesh (http://shammograffity.wordpress.com) where he disburses brand related knowledge for Bangladeshi students and businesses

1 comment:

Red & Green said...

I am afraid we are very good in missing opportunity trains. Starting from submarine cable for internet superhighway to harry potter craze, we prefer to wait and watch and wonder until there is nothing much to do. Your proposition is still lucrative, but it goes without saying that our business acumen is still too myopic, we need to broaden our knowledge radar, spot opportunities early and formulate a killer business model as long as the wind blows in the right direction in the right time....like Harry Potter's wind is blowing all over the world now.