Interactive Television Entertainment (ITE), the Copenhagen-based producer of some of the world’s leading interactive children’s game shows, has developed its products with local markets in mind.
ITE’s key game show is Hugo The TV Troll, an interactive animated show that allows children to participate through a variety of scenarios.
The show, which works around a live-action presenter, can easily be adapted to individual markets, says ITE managing director Tom Vedel.
‘We urge producers to localize the game with a local presenter,’ he says.
ITE is returning for its third MIP’ Asia and is seeking an Asian agent to handle sales in the region after the MIP market.
ITE is also opening an office in Los Angeles in January as it sets its sights on North America. The L.A. office will be headed by company founder Ivan Solvasen.
‘Making good friends with people is how we do business,’ says Vedel. ‘In order to be successful, you need to have a presence in the market where you are doing business. People want to be able to call someone locally.
‘That’s the major thing we’ve learned over the years. It applies to selling your products and programs as well as to adapting your programs to take into account local differences.
‘You cannot say that Asia is one market. It is Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and other countries, which all have cultural, religious and family pattern differences.
‘Our products are fairy tale, not related to everyday life, so in that sense they are not as affected by societal differences,’ says Vedel. ‘Kids love Hugo because he’s cute and he’s cuddly. He is like a teddy bear. There are no conflicts.’
ITE has further tailored the Hugo show for local adaptation by providing for changes in Hugo’s lip movements so that language dubs can look authentic.
‘It is important to attend to the details, particularly in Asia,’ says Vedel. ‘You need to be thorough. You need to be able to answer questions, such as demographic appeal, how many people call in to the show, what that represents in terms of boys and girls.
‘In Europe, people either like it or they don’t, and they tend to make their decisions [on purchasing the show] right away.’
The Hugo show is six years old. It has been seen in 23 countries and is currently airing in eight countries, mostly European. Next year, the show will begin airing in South America and in Russia.
There are 20 games in the ITE catalogue, with six to eight new shows produced each year.