How to Activate Original IP Energy for Large-scale Cultural Tourism Projects

Release time:2020-09-04

The original IP "Legend of Kun" of Kaisa Golden Bay Resort created by APES, got an unexpected surprise before the resort went into operation: In the appraisement and election of the "Chinese Original IP Oscar"-Jade Monkey Award, after the public vote and the unanimous approval of the professional judges, it won the "Top Ten Culture &Tourism Mascots with the Most Commercial Value in 2020", which made many people in the industry see the potential of original IP. Can the independent original IP of domestic theme parks still become the driving force of cultural tourism scenic spots?



Challenge Originality with Courage and Strength

It has been proved by the global market for many years that IP is an important driving force for first-tier theme parks. The world's most profitable theme park IP has a total revenue of nearly 100 billion US dollars. Disney, Merlin Entertainments and Universal Studios, the three major theme park groups, all have world-famous core IP. On the other hand, in China, "the absence of good IP" is still a commonplace topic. Most of them lack their own image IP, the existing IP operations are not satisfactory, and ten billion-level IP products are even rarer.

What are the causes of this phenomenon? Wendi Teoh, head of the Theme Creativity and Performing Arts Department of APES, believes that the problems mainly lie in two aspects: firstly, the IP design of most parks is outsourced, and the suppliers often do not have a deep understanding of the theme spirit of scenic spots; Secondly, IP designs are mostly superficial and thin in image, resulting in low uniqueness and recognition.

It is not difficult to see that, due to the lack of support from professional teams and the courage to continue development and operation, many culture & tourism attractions chose to introduce existing IP from outside through capital acquisition, authorized cooperation and other means when operating IP. Although they already have a certain audience base, popularity and influence, they are not tailored and it is difficult to fully meet the actual needs when grafting. After repeated investigation and value judgment, APES finally chose to independently develop and create a brand-new IP story for Golden Bay, Dapeng, Shenzhen, combining the local cultural characteristics and the contemporary cognition of the audience.

"As far as we know, even in the world, there are very few precedents for building a compound park IP around a story and a world view. The potential and challenges of this project are very great, but we will create a new model." Wendi said.

It is neither a copy of external IP nor a graft of existing IP. "Legend of Kun" is a brand-new attempt of IP R&D mode of a pure original theme park. Based on the industry experience observation and data support of the APES team for many years, the core of IP building is to realize the fan-oriented operation of the target customer group. By creating a unique brand symbol, tourists' emotional cognition is aroused and the stickiness of the target customer is increased, thus improving the level of repeat visitation and realizing the growth of passenger flow. The publication of "Legend of Kun" has added a vivid annotation to the exploration of original IP in China.

Use IP to Tell a Good Story

For theme parks, how to operate an IP well? As an original IP, "Legend of Kun" strives to perfectly combine stories, images, scenes and products to realize the resonance of tourists' emotions and cultures.



Firstly, look at the IP story.

According to APES, the story line of "Legend of Kun" is presented by the thread of the universe was in disorder-the hero appears- Kun turns into Peng. Around the theme of "growth and transformation", it conveys the concept of harmonious coexistence between human beings and nature. According to Longjun Luo, the chief designer of "Legend of Kun", for designing a high-quality IP image that conforms to the characteristics of the park, the first step is to accurately interpret the theme story of the resort. Therefore, before starting the specific design work, the IP design team sorted out the detailed characteristics of each IP figure, such as character, gender, age, hobbies, and growth environment, according to the needs of the theme story.

In the selection of theme stories and the arrangement of story lines, the key creative team focused on the profound traditional Chinese culture, accurately expressed the city spirit of Shenzhen, where the project is located, deeply excavated the legends about Dapeng in various ancient books and classics, and finally decided to take the well-known story of " Kun turns into Peng" in "The Untrammeled Traveler" as the origin.


Secondly, look at the IP image.

When designing the IP image, the details of each role, such as body shape, skin color, hairstyle, hair color, accessories, etc., have been polished repeatedly. When drawing the line draft sketch, we not only took the initiative to mark the world-famous series of IP images, but also fully considered the regional characteristics of the project and the aesthetic habits of China's localization, so as to shape the facial features, body proportion, hair color and skin color of the roles more in line with the characteristics of the oriental people. Since then, on the basis of two special investigations by experts, the industry and specific audience groups, several rounds of optimization have been carried out on each IP image. At present, the 34 IP images that have all completed visual design not only have profound story details, but also realize innovation in modeling design.

Finally, look at the product.

One story line needs to connect five pavilions, several parks and night shows and other theme scenes in series. The landing includes five pavilions such as Forest of Imagination(Children Pavilion), Mars Operations Spaceport (Future Pavilion), Ocean Encounters (Aquarium), Village of Xuanwu (Water Park), Land of the Northern Lights(Snow Pavilion), which are also equipped with many supporting facilities such as international hotels, beach park, a theater, coastal leisure commercial streets, central park, gymnasiums, etc. It is a great challenge in terms of logicality and landing implementation. However, the APES team has completed the overall planning and landing implementation after the fight, which has not only won favorable comments from the industry, but also created the consumption scene closest to tourists.

In the future, 34 IP images will also be applied to all aspects of scenic spots, such as multimedia animation, creative products, theme packaging, etc. A series of wonderful thematic application scenes create different wonderful experiences with stories pushed forward layer by layer.

Both Soul and Market

A successful IP should not only maintain sufficient artistic taste, but also maintain a sustained market heat. The two are often difficult to balance.

"Perhaps, there is still a paradox at present, that is, things with high artistic value are often relatively niche and have insufficient communication power. However, in the long run, the two are not contradictory." Longjun Luo said.


In terms of artistic value, the "Legend of Kun" team of APES has its own insistence. Wendi stressed that creators must keep their professional persistence. "The survey results show that the target group prefers cartoon style. However, the medium and high-end positioning of Golden Bay determines that the IP image cannot be too cartoon." After repeated discussions and judgements, the current design style was finally determined.

In terms of commercial value, around the R&D and operation of "Legend of Kun", the APES team has built a complete set of IP system standard processes for Kaisa Golden Bay Resort. "IP operation is, after all, a commercial act and ultimately needs to be tested by the market. Therefore, we must fully understand the needs of the target customer group and suit the remedy to the case." Wendi said.

In order to ensure the exuberant market vitality of "Legend of Kun", Kaisa Golden Bay Resort broke the traditional ticket economic model and took it as an open park. Only single entertainment items need tickets. In the future, IP will be implemented through the modes of "scenic spot + amusement", "scenic spot + theater" and "scenic spot + performing arts", which will run through the scene construction, performing arts, theme packaging, services and peripheral products of Golden Bay Resort to create more unique immersive experiences for tourists.


Now, "Legend of Kun" has been recognized by the industry before the opening of the resort, which not only confirms the market potential of the original IP of cultural tourism scenic spot, but also provides useful reference for seeking value balance between art and commerce.

Article from: New Lvjie

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