We’ve just begun to scratch the surface with experiences,” says DreamWorks Animation’s chief brand officer Michael Francis in a New York Times piece by Brooks Barnes (6/18/14). Experiences matter to DreamWorks because “movies by themselves are a slow to no-growth business. A lasting film enterprise, at least in today’s marketplace, must have other engines.”
For DreamWorks, this includes DreamHouse, a “2,000 square-foot ‘cottage’ with walls that are essentially video screens,” to be installed at shopping malls during the holidays. Inside, naturally, is Santa Claus, and children will be able to “go on a virtual sleigh ride with Shrek” before they meet him. “No more waiting in line; appointments will be made by app.” DreamWorks is also diversifying into television and the Internet, most notably with AwesomenessTV, “a thriving collection of YouTube channels focused on teenagers,” and DreamWorksTV, “a family-oriented YouTube channel.”
The studio is also snapping up former Disney executives, such as former Disney Stores chief Jim Fielding (a Hub Live headliner!) who is “leading a September charge into stores” with AwesomenessTV products. Michael Francis, himself a former Target Stores CMO, is also moving into “higher-end retail,” working with “fashion designer Jeremy Scott, for instance,” on a clothing line for young women, perhaps including a Shrek bra. “Everything we are doing is carefully designed to make our brand continue to ascend,” says Michael.