Thursday, 22 November 2012
Big Bang in merchandising Bonanza
As a trained physicist one of this bloggers favourite TV programmes is the US sitcom "The Big Bang Theory". He's not very keen on dubbed German version and was pleased to find that the original language versions are now available on iTunes. Somehow Sheldon Cooper does not seem to come over well in German - even if the long words in that language would seem to be perfect for Sheldon to stupefy everyone else. Apparently the show has ratings of over 500,000 in the UK and is credited with the mini-boom in school students studying physics. Just shows that nerds can be role models. It seems strange, nonetheless, that the show is apparently expected to generate USD 50 million in merchandising revenue this year, according to this report in the US magazine Variety. Apparently you can now buy a model Sheldon Cooper as well as a Gazinga T-shirt (Gazinga being Sheldon's way of indicating a joke). It's probably not surprising given the nerdy nature of the show that it features a fact or fiction trivia game (obviously not licensed to the makers of Tr*v**l P*rs**t, given its name). And I'm really looking forward to a good game of Big Bang UNO with the kids. Given this volume of merchandising for the show alone, it would be intriguing to find out just how much benefit the makers of the nerdy products plugged on the show enjoy. There's no reference on the German TV version to sponsored product placement and so it might really be that DC comics enjoy substantial extra publicity for their iconic superheroes. On an intriguing note - despite the merchandising campaign, the makers of the show don't seem to be thinking proactively about their trade mark rights. US Trademark 3754655 was only filed in 2009, despite the show having been on air much earlier, and it is only registered in class 41 for entertainment services. Outside of the US no rights seemed to have been filed.