2007 Hot Property
Principal: Elie Dekel, exec VP, 20th Century Fox Licensing & Merchandising
Licensees include: Ripple Junction, C&D Visionary, Concept One
The story: This is another example of a less-is-more campaign.
One of 2006’s biggest hits, with a worldwide box office gross of more than $260 million, Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” propelled fictional Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev’s many catchphrases into the cultural lexicon.
So far, due to the creator’s wishes, Fox L&M hasn’t been able to go nuts with the merchandise.
But the division has made the most out of the leeway it does have.
In fact, modest apparel lines of Ripple Junction “I Like Sex High Five” T-shirts and Concept One “What’s Up Vanilla Face?” trucker hats are becoming hotter on college campuses than the No. 4 prostitute in all of Kazakhstan.
POV: “With such a major film, you’d think there would be a large licensing program in place,” Dekel says. “Initially, we were looking to do something similar to our ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ program, but in respect to Baron Cohen’s desire, we kept the consumer products program very narrow and focused.”