Cos It’s Worth It
The London MCM Expo is now a firmly established event on the calendar, and, increasingly, alongside the assorted cosplay fanatics (predominantly teenagers, dressed up as characters from Japanese anime and assorted comic books and films) you’re finding film and home entertainment companies plying their wares at the stands.
This year there were big studios showing off their wares (Fox and Universal among them, plugging their forthcoming theatrical blockbusters such as The A Team and Scott Pilgrim Vs The World ) and a whole plethora of independent labels, many of whom have been there since the show began, through to its current record-breaking 41,000-odd turnout over the recent bank holiday weekend.
We canvassed those who were present this year to find out their opinions about this year’s event.
“It was a fantastic Expo and once again we enjoyed a record breaking attendance of 41,500 visitors, with 28,000 of those on the Saturday. This was Manga’s 10th Expo in the past five years. The Manga DVD store sold more than 2,000 units over the weekend plus an additional 1,000 Viz Media manga. We gave away 1,000 free Naruto Shippuden posters (the title is out on June 14) and ran a free signing with the stars of the US voice cast on the Manga booth both days, attracting hundreds of fans. Manga’s Cosplay Corner photobooth attracted 700 costumed visitors. The best male, female and group portraits will win a free copy of Ubisoft’s new POP game for Xbox360 and PS3, Viz Media books and Manga DVDs. Other Manga third party promotions included Professor Layton And The Eternal Diva, the first Professor Layton movie due out in October to coincide with the brand new game for Nintendo DS. We also ran live sampling of The Naruto Shippuden game from Namco Bandai and we launched our Manga Live Action brand.
“The London MCM Expo has yet again proven to be the perfect meeting place for the game, anime, comics and event film community. It continues to grow and gives the industry a strong indication that “experiential” marketing and community building is the way to building brands in the new century. We loved it.”
“4Digital exhibited again this year, I think it’s our third or fourth time. We found it very busy on Saturday and much quieter than normal on Sunday. The costumes never fail to amaze me. Some are awe inspiring in their complexity and ingenuity and others are simply bizarre. I always feel like a stranger looking into to a “twilight world” when I attend.
“We use it as a way of talking face-to-face with buyers of 4Digital Asia DVDs and get their feedback to our releases and proposed releases. Death Note (live action) is still a firm favourite and sells consistently but this year our main title was 20th Century Boys trilogy [released the day a.
“We released the first film in the series last year but it was a very slow. However, as more people got to hear about the trilogy on the Internet and through the social network groups, the fan base got bigger and sales improved. So, instead of releasing chapters two and three separately we decided to release all three films (more than six hours and over four hours of extras) in one box set, which was a released on the Monday after the event.
“The Expo visitors loved it. The sales and feedback was very encouraging for us and it was for Kaiji, staring the Death Note stars; Hidden Fortress: The Last Princess (a remake of Kurosawa’s classic Samurai film plus Death Tube and Meat Grinder – two j-horror movies – the trailer went down a storm.
“Expo is crazy but it’s also a great place to meet our customers.”
“It was good for me as a small company to have a presence at such a big event. Sales were as expected and the value for us is firstly being seen and secondly being available to talk to people who are into what we are into.
“We’d definitely do it again.”
“The weekend went really well, London Expo seems to be going from strength to strength, is fantastically attended and is fast becoming a key event to have presence for games, anime and cult films.
“We were at London Expo mainly to support the opening of The Losers in cinemas, and the DVD and Blu-ray release of Ponyo. We played a trailer reel throughout the con of other upcoming and retro releases relevant to the audience, for example some of our older Ghibli films and upcoming sci-fi movie Splice.
“Opting not to sell any Optimum product on the stand we ran a couple of competitions, one to win the entire Ghibli collection including our Deluxe Edition of Ponyo and one to win a host of Losers goodies and some Optimum back catalogue. Both competitions proved very popular. As well as competitions Andy Diggle and Jock, the comic book creators behind The Losers, did a couple of very well attended comic signings, with fans getting autographs and sketched galore.
“The most fun thing (for me anyway, trying to entertain myself on the stand all day) was the The Losers t-shirt giveaway – any member of the public could have, and keep, a t-shirt for free on the condition that they put it on right there at the Optimum stand, and wear it all day. It led to there being 70 odd T-shirts wandering around the expo for most of the day Saturday and a lot of free branding for us.”
“It was our first major Expo and I was really happy with the experience. Attending such events not only allows for greater promotion and sales, but allows one to get closer to our audience, and in the case of the MCM Expo, an audience we didn’t usually attract. We just wish we had bought a larger table as our small setup definitely had an affect on our sales and outreach, but even though, we still had strong sales and did well out of the weekend. We plan on doing the London film and comic con in July and many others up until the next MCM, with bigger setups from now on.”
Third Window Films
“MVM Entertainment has sponsored and attended Expo since the very first show – both London and the Midlands Expo event.
“MVM is unique amongst distributors in that we also run a full retail operation at www.anime-on-line.com selling not only our own titles but also those of our industry colleagues. Given that MVM also administers the UK ANIME CLUB (www.animeconnect.co.uk), the Expo event is an opportunity for our thousands of customers and club members to drop by and say hello.
“Although previously 100 per cent anime, MVM branched out into Asian Cinema this year. We promoted our first releases in this genre Blood, Geisha Assassin, Cutey Honey, Dororo and the excellent Sinking Of Japan – our first ever entry into the national DVD chart. We also announced the forthcoming July release of Samurai Zombie.
“But we didn’t forget anime. MVM has become well respected for the quality of our box sets and collections and the whole array were available (and snapped up at special prices) to fans. We also announced our forthcoming titles, Moribito: Guardian Of The Spirit, the high end title Blade Of The Immortal plus the long awaited Slayers fourth season Slayers Revolution.
“Expo was once again a resounding success in all respects.”
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