What if Barnes & Noble had produced ‘The Queen’s Gambit’?
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt of a current article from the blog of Aptos.
“The Queen’s Gambit,” Netflix’s hit show, reportedly sent sales of chess sets soaring 1,048 percent for game maker Goliath Games. Now, imagine if Barnes & Noble had produced that show?
Then imagine if B&N had embedded exclusive, custom chess set designs into the show. Imagine further if they had created a chess club, complete with a curated assortment of chess strategy books and biographies, then hosted in-store tournaments for a chance to be cast as an extra in the show. Think of all those target audience awareness and engagement opportunities available to them — before the show even premiered.
People everywhere are looking for ways to connect (particularly right now) and the quality content business (Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, etc.) is booming. To me, retail seems ideally suited to capitalize on those opportunities.
What if Sur La Table had created and produced the “Great British Bake Off” (renamed “Great British Baking Show” in the U.S.)? Show recipes could have been published on Sur La Table’s website. The retailer could have run interviews with the show’s bakers on its blogs or podcasts. Behind-the-scenes content would thrill devoted viewers who just can’t get enough of that pleasant little show. And think of all the product placement opportunities.
What if IKEA had produced “Tiny House Hunters,” the hit Hulu show? Or Zara or H&M had produced “Project Runway”?
I know producing a successful show sounds like a long shot (or perhaps it would be a wide shot, in Hollywood parlance?), but producing a “hit” show is very different than it was even 10 years ago. Today’s television landscape is highly fragmented and the industry is clearly on the hunt for content. We need only appeal to a very targeted niche audience for a new show to get a shot at airtime. And connecting with our niche is all we really care about, right?
So why not look to Hollywood-style production companies to create the type of content that connects with those niche audiences? That’s exactly what those companies do — just like they do for all those holiday commercials retailers love to produce. Only bigger.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see a real opportunity for retailers to create Hollywood-style content? What do you see as the obvious and less obvious hurdles for retailers going Hollywood?