Speech Script | Film-Induced Tourism Wallander Mixed Reality


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Can the 'Wallander' films be used to promote Skåne?
What is the value of the ‘Wallander’ films, their exposure of Skåne and what effect does this have on the tourist industry? With remarks to the BBC productions of Wallander films with Kenneth Branagh in the lead role (2007-2008, 2009-2010).
Speech by Joakim Lind at the Mixed Reality Conference in Ystad, September 10, 2009.
Joakim Lind, speech script Mixed Reality September 10, 2009 Ystad, Sweden Can the 'Wallander' films be used to promote Skåne? What is the value of the ‘Wallander’ films, their exposure of Skåne and what effect does this have on the tourist industry? With remarks to the BBC productions of Wallander films with Kenneth Branagh in the lead role (2007-2008, 2009-2010). A few years ago, in 2005, I was approached by representatives of the Municipal of Ystad, Region Skåne, Oresund Film Commission and Tourism in Skåne, asking: - Can you carry out a study that will provide an indication of the marketing value to Skåne when it is promoted in films such as Wallander, and what this can mean for tourism? Prior to this analysis I had carried out media analyses for the Region of Skåne summarising the media image of Skåne in Sweden and abroad. - “No problem – of course!,” I said, thinking “there must be someone who’s done this before. Research that I could look back on and refer to. I can have a look and make parallels to those studies.” But back in 2005 I found almost nothing. Why this was the case was quickly revealed to me. It was quite difficult, not to say impossible, to estimate a marketing value for a location. Making expectations connected to the tourism industry is also difficult. Films and places are unique and experiences from one region may not be relevant for another context. The questions that I was to try and answer or reflect upon were: 1. What is the marketing or exposure value for Skåne when the region is exposed in films? How can a region or location’s exposure in films be valued? We all agree that films like ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Zorba the Greek’, and ‘Wallander’ have meant and continue to mean a lot for a location’s brand and that in one way or another, our travel destinations are affected by reading a book or seeing a film. But can we find a way to quantify this value? (Anecdote: I actually met Anthony Quinn in Crete when, in 1996, they celebrated the 50th anniversary of the book ‘Zorba the Greek’, that became a film in 1964. Well, I say met; I was able to touch his arm. Can’t say that I went to Crete because of Copyright © Joakim Lind 1:9 Zorba but I understood that Anthony Quinn and Zorba the Greek was regarded as the best non-Greek ambassadeur Greece or Crete ever have had.) 2. The second question is as follows – what does this mean for tourism development and tourism growth? What can be said in general, and about Ystad and the Skåne region in particular? In late 2005 only three to four of the Wallander series had been released as films. My conclusions were based on projected scenarios of how many people would go and see the films in different markets, and the expectations of tourism development. When it came to the final effect on tourism, conclusions were based partly on experiences and studies from other film location regions, and partly on interviews with representatives from other regions with experiences from film-induced tourism. In the last year, I have carried out similar studies for the Gotland Film Fund. -----------------Since 2005, a lot has happened, as Itta said in her speech. Thirteen further Wallander films with Krister Henriksson in the lead role are being produced. Kenneth Branagh’s first three Wallander episodes have been produced and, as you know, have been shot on location in Skåne. Currently another three films starring Kenneth Branagh are being filmed on location. I will primarily talk about what impact Branagh’s Wallander has, and what this will mean in terms of marketing of Skåne and for Skåne as a tourist destination. Films and locations – what effect can these have on tourism? I created a model for how the value of regional exposure could be quantified and defined some assumptions. You have to make assumptions. There are so many factors that should be considered so you have to define some as static – ceteris paribus. Accept these assumptions, which I believe to be reasonable, and a marketing value can be defined. The assumptions I defined are as follows: • Beautiful natural and environmental depictions in films attract tourists if the film is of the correct type, meaning that the locations can be identified in the real world. Through this, value is created. Sometimes a film is filmed on a location different Copyright 2009 © Joakim Lind 2:9 from where it claims to take place (Lars von Trier’s ‘Dancer in the Dark’, Trollhättan/USA). Every film gives message about a location – real or fictional. I think perhaps every film contributes to how we perceive the world and look on humanity. Many films contribute to the shaping of a location’s brand. How would we perceive Gotland if legends like Bergman and Tarkovski wouldn’t have filmed there? What would Ystad and Skåne be without the Wallander books and films? • The depictions can be identified as scenes that are touristic, and where it is clear from the story that the scenes are from a certain location. This does not necessarily mean that the scenes must have been shot there. • The exposure value of a location can be calculated in the same way as a product (product placement). In the case of Wallander, I obviously assume the books have at least the same marketing value as all the films. However, I have only analysed and valued the films. What can be said – with the support of Sue Beeton from La Trobe University, Australia, among others – is that it seems it is only when a book is first adapted into a film that it has an increased effect on tourism. Marketing Value – Exposure Value The estimated marketing value is based on a model that shows ‘cost of contact’ (the cost of creating and showing tourism advertising on the same channel and reaching the same audience with an advertising film). The so-called ‘cost of contact’ differs, depending on whether TV, DVD or cinema is used. This is something we also took account of in the first studies. ‘Cost of contact’ can then be multiplied by the amount of clear ‘exposures’ (contacts) of the region in the film. What we have defined as ‘contact’ are characteristic local environment pictures or images representative of the location (or when Skåne and/or Ystad is mentioned) or the use of dialogue at the location in a way that reinforces the location’s characteristics. This can mean scenes that are ‘touristy’ in nature and could just as easily be found in a tourist brochure or advertising film. The amount of contacts obviously varies from film to film. In some films, the location is important for the plot. In such cases, the viewer knows where the film is set. In other films the location is not important. Copyright © Joakim Lind 3:9 In the case of Wallander films, Skåne is prominent. In an article, a Dagens Nyheter journalist stated that Wallander could take place anywhere. This isn’t true. Wallander is closely associated with Skåne. The early 1990s, when the first Wallander books were published, saw the fall of the Communist states, an uncertain global future etc. This meant that the location of Skåne is of great importance and essential to the plots and events in the Wallander books and films. To avoid reaching ‘pie in the sky’ figures, we continually used careful, conservative estimations of location contacts and calculations. We concluded that if you calculate ‘cost of contact’ in a similar manner to product placement and accept that beautiful natural surroundings can have a positive effect on tourism, it is clear that films can have a major, lasting influence on marketing value. In each of Krister Henriksson’s Wallander films, we identified on average, 17 clear tourism ‘exposures’ to Skåne. With an audience of 130 million contacts (here I got audience figures from all the distributors, or equivalent, from other films) in the countries in which the films were to be broadcasted, these 17 exposures were valued at almost 600 MSEK – 50 million euros. On average, every individual exposure of Skåne was valued at 2.7 cents, the equivalent of 0.5 euros (4.6 SEK) per viewer for the 17 clear Skåne exposures the films were deemed to contain. It should be pointed out that the study was carried out over the winter of 2005 and deals with an anticipated audience. Today, with hard facts in hand and new markets where the films have been broadcasted, and other 13 films produced, advertising value is of course even higher. Furthermore, the impact that Wallander has in new markets following a successful BBC production will increase exposure value for Krister Henriksson’s films even more. And I assume the BBC production will create interest for the Swedish Wallander films. The value reveals what it would cost the region to reach the same audience through advertising in the different markets. (Now I will comment the new Wallander films starring Kenneth Branagh.) Copyright 2009 © Joakim Lind 4:9 If there was a lot of Skåne in the Swedish versions, there is possibly even more in Branagh’s. As an old ‘Skåning’ I didn’t feel entirely at home (in Skåne) in the earlier productions but in Branagh’s films, in my opinion, the essence of Skåne has been captured fantastically. There is a magic in the landscapes that adds another dimension to what are already exciting books and stories. This, I think, can make the films into tourism magnets even more. In scene after scene, I think “this is so beautiful”. Of course I am somewhat biased. But this has also been said in the reviews – at least in Swedish. (Slide: Skåne scenery in ‘One Step Behind’) If we look at ‘One Step Behind’, here’s example how we counted. Scenes had to be at least 30 seconds in length to count as one exposure. Branagh’s Wallander films contain on average 18-20 clear exposures of Skåne including clear mentioning of location. Advertising value per film and contact is calculated at 4.86 SEK – 5.40 SEK (appr. 50 cents, 0.5 euros). To calculate exposure value, we need to know how many millions of people the films will reach. The films have been shown in the UK, Germany, USA and Japan. These are big markets. They will also be shown on TV in Scandinavia later this year or next year. Market share in NY: 3-4 per cent. This figure is even higher in Japan. The films have already been seen by approximately 100 million people. A successful British drama series can reach 100 million people per episode. An audience of perhaps 300-500 million non-unique contacts is not unreasonable for a successful drama production. The films are likely to reach even more contacts. In the diagram below, we have calculated using a figure of 0.27 SEK per Skåne exposure (2.7 cents). This is translated from an average value for product placement. Can introduce the term location placement. RESULT: If the films reach 500 million contacts – which is not unreasonable for a British drama series – advertising value will be 2.5 billion SEK plus (approximately 250 million euros), probably even more. Copyright © Joakim Lind 5:9 What is not included in this calculation is a decrease of ad value connected to repetition. The first contacts are usually regarded as more valued and the additional less valued. (The value could actually be negative if the exposure is frequent and too commercial.) On the other hand I have only calculated cautiously and only used ad value and not a multiplicator that you sometimes do to indicate that exposure in a feature film is regarded higher than commercials. In the study we have only looked at traditional channels such as TV, DVD or cinema. But films reach us in so many other ways. For a more complete validation also these channels should be included. • • • • Marketing material Peer to peer people talk Newspaper, TV and radio reviews Above all, the internet YouTube visits increased by almost 80 percent last year. Daily use increased among all age groups. More and more media is consumed on the internet. We also consume video clips in a new way. This includes viral marketing, short clips that circulate in a more social web. I believe that the internet does more for the region itself than DVD or video. Above all, I want to see the films as artistic. However, a film clip or review can be passed on to my friends for other purposes. • • Through YouTube and other channels, clips from the BBC production of Wallander circulate. Clips from reviews – viral effect. People who think the films are exciting and send them on to friends / peers. • • This gives much more credibility and increases ‘observation’. Marketing value via viral channels is perhaps much larger than? Since we do not know how big an audience the films will reach, what can be said is: Without hesitation, we can clearly say that the films will take Skåne out to a huge audience and the films will attract tourists to Skåne. __________ Copyright 2009 © Joakim Lind 6:9 Copyright © Joakim Lind 7:9 The second part deals with how big an effect the films can have on tourism. Without doubt, films and books are important in forming our perception of the world and can contribute to affecting our choice of destination. Film tourism is becoming more and more popular. One example is the use by web sites and travel agencies. But still, film-related travel only accounts as one of a number of reasons as to why people visit a particular region. The tourist that goes to a place just because of a film is still quite scarce. Looking at our part of the world: • • How would we perceive Gotland if Bergman and Tarkovsky hadn’t set films there and left their mark on the island? How would we have perceived Stockholm and Småland and life on the other side if we remove Astrid Lindgren from our thoughts? To define what effect films have on tourism is more difficult. There are several international examples that clearly illustrate this. In the 2005 study, we studied regions with some similarities to Skåne and with experience of film tourism in order to see what effects were seen there. I looked at other studies that had been carried out as well as interviewing representatives of regions that had experience of exposure as film locations. Some examples of regions with experiences or comments to film-induced tourism that were interviewed in prior studies. • Inspector Morse. There are obvious comparisons with Inspector Morse. It is based on successful novels (by Colin Dexter), just like Wallander. Oxford is one of the most filmed towns in the world – at least in the UK. Suzanne Lockhart claims that at least 20% of tourists visiting the town do so with the TV series or films as the primary reason. Around half perceive the films as important. During the 1990s and early 2000, Suzanne claims that a significant amount of visitors came with Morse as the primary argument. Today, it’s more likely to be Harry Potter that attracts people to the town. • • Polisen på Samsø. Danish police drama from the late 1990s. Swedish examples – Film i Väst and Filmpool Nord. The Hunters (Jägarna) from 1995 attracts tourists to Älvsbyn, but on a smaller scale. Copyright 2009 © Joakim Lind 8:9 Experience from regions equivalent to Skåne show that tourism can be expected to increase by between 4 and 10 percent per year for the first three years after exposure in an internationally successful film. This figure can go up to 30-40 percent for a location like Ystad, and is expected for the period during 2006-2008. The actual figures, now that we know them, have been even greater than expected if we look at both visitor figures and increase in turnover from tourism. It is difficult to refine a film’s meaning for tourism development. Film brings only one in a series of argument to go to a location. Reputation, currency levels, climate and weather forecast are other arguments. Of course, the Swedish currency has also had effects on the tourism recent years. In our study, it was assumed that all other variables remained consistent. In the earlier study, I showed a prognosis of how tourist visitors from markets where Wallander films were shown would increase. This was before the BBC production. A BBC production reaches significantly more people. The BBC production can reach an audience of hundreds of millions from significantly more countries compared with earlier Wallander productions. Many of these people live within travelling distance of Sweden, Skåne and Ystad. It can therefore be concluded that tourism to Skåne will increase by significantly more than the 3-4 percent per year previously mentioned, and that many visitors will quote the films as an important motivating factor in why they chose to discover Skåne. This can perhaps account for 10 percent per year or similar. The increase in tourists visiting Ystad will obviously be even higher, with perhaps a 50 percent increase of tourism to Ystad during the coming three to four years. If other things will stay the same – consistent – I think that the BBC production of Wallander will be a hit for the tourism industry. Thank you! Joakim Lind Mobile: +46 (0)70 928 69 73 Email: joakim.lind@cloudberry.se Copyright © Joakim Lind 9:9