“Madagascar”, a popular brand that sells the wrong product
A bit provocative title, I do agree. So why the heck a website that promotes Madagascar as a destination dare to criticize this “madagascar brand name” usage. Stick with me on this one …
If we ask foreigners about what they know about Madagascar, chances are that they will refer to the movie whether it is the 2005 one, or the 2008. Do you agree? In one of my blog, I was shocked when the “Madagascar, escape 2 Africa” generated 63,5 million USD in the week-end of the opening. Good for Dreamworks. But, this was awesome when the only direct benefit I’m aware of for Madagascar-the island from this cartoon was a 500.000 USD grant that dreamwork gave for conservation international.But more impressive figures came out when Dreamworks announced their first quarter results that showed huge benefits mainly because of … guess what? … Madagascar the movie… I told you, Madagascar name sells (and sells it well) the wrong product (the destination). Apart from theater entries and home-entertainment products, I guess this also includes all the goodies (T-shirts, mugs, stickers, figurines, …). According to the report, so far, the Madagascar movie has generated $595 million in worldwide box office and an estimated 6.7 million home entertainment units sold worldwide, net of actual and estimated future returns.
My goodness, the whole tourism industry in Madagascar-the island, “only” generated 390 million USD in 2007.
Wait, this ain’t over. There’s more to come. Since “Madagascar” brand sells so well, some illumintaed-marketing-oriented people in a cable-TV called Nickelodeon decided to jump on the Madagascar wagon and created “The penguins of Madagascar” (guys, Madagascar is a tropical island- “penguins of Madagascar”?), this is now a regular serie since March 2009 on this TV channel. Although I don’t have the figures on the income they are making on this, I won’t even be surprised if they decide to create another serie around “King Julien the lemur” … Just smile and wave.
So riding the illuminated-marketing-oriented-products makers, since this movie is so popular, why don’t we target those gamers all around the world? Have you heard about a game named “Pandemic 2″ where “Madagascar” seems to be a hard-to-infect country? Those players are so excited when they achieved to infect Madagascar in the game that they tell the world about it (at least on twitter). You even have “how-to infect Madagascar tips” online. Those guys are talking about closing ports and airports in this game while this can actually happen in real life during the current crisis happening in Madagascar now.
Last but not least, this actual incredible joke/crisis in Madagascar. This thing is real, and being an island (and for other reasons too), Malagasy people never thought those kind of thing would ever happen here. We were totally wrong. This crisis doesn’t have to sell, news about it (whether it is confirmed or rumors) easily spreads worldwide (would make those pandemic games players jealous). So crisis or not, other entities are making million dollars “only” by using my country name… As a fellow rightly pointed out: “Madagascar is a rich country with poor people”
Yes, Madagascar is popular now … Not the way Madafan (and other conservation/tourism-players) want it… This reminds me about a remark one friend told me when I began communicating about this blog: “do you think it’s the right time to launch this kind of initiative?” … My short answer is YES-definitely YES, otherwise procrastination will come in the way… and why not surf the wave while the world is listening to Madagascar- others did it and brilliantly succeeded, why can’t we? Let’s get crazy and have big ambitions- you’re all welcome to join the ride – the more, the merrier.