Paramount Network Int'l Sets Mean Girls: The Movie and More as Live London Event
The channel will join Viacom’s other international flagship brands in breaking into the live events business, which management has focused on growing.
Viacom's Paramount Network International on Wednesday unveiled Mean Girls: The Movie and More, its first-ever live experiential event, which will take place in London in June.
The offering tied to the high-school comedy, which starred Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, among others, means that the channel will join Viacom’s other flagship international network brands in breaking into the live events business, which management has focused on as part of its push into new businesses and revenue sources.
"Mean Girls is an iconic cult hit that audiences around the world love," said Jill Offman, executive vp Paramount Network International. "From its popular Broadway show and video games, to thousands of memes and iconic quotes, we felt like the film should be brought to life for fans in a way only Paramount, and the power of Viacom, could create."
Mean Girls: The Movie and More will take place June 12-16 at Seymour Leisure Centre in London's Marylebone neighborhood, which will be transformed into Mean Girls’ North Shore High School. Fans will be able to screen the hit Paramount Pictures movie, walk through set re-creations, participate in such photo opportunities as Burn Book selfies and prom pictures, have themed food and drinks, as well as get themed swag.
The network's partner for the event is Luna Cinema, a U.K. outdoor cinema company that has also been working on FriendsFest. To coincide with the London event, Mean Girls will be airing on Viacom's international Paramount and Comedy Central networks.
Paramount Network International sees live events as a branding tool and a chance to provide deeper immersion for fans of key content brands. "Paramount has strong brands and iconic franchises that are not only very successful on our channels, in cinemas and on digital platforms, but also have a life cycle with fans in real life," explained Offman. "As content creators, generating real-life emotions is key to our growth strategy and is a valuable marketing tool."
Comedy Central International, which Offman also oversees as executive vp, said it has seen success with live events, such as the U.K.’s first-ever Comedy Central Live last year, and the Friends-themed FriendsFest, which is gearing up for its fifth year. Last year's FriendsFest sold more tickets than ever before, with more than 130,000 attendees, and it expanded into Spain, with more countries expected to be announced this year. Like FriendsFest, the Mean Girls event "allows fans to immerse themselves" in their favorite content. "We are recreating North Shore High and giving fans that immersive experience."
Offering experiences tied to movies has been something companies have been looking at across the industry. "There is a growing trend for film experiences, and with Paramount’s vast library of film classics, it is a natural step that we look to maximize the content assets within our portfolio," said Gerald Biart, vp international content strategy, marketing and operations, Paramount Network International. "Mean Girls is the perfect film out of the gate, as it’s iconic, fun and provides excellent scope for real-world activations. This is the beginning of an exciting new direction for the brand."
While it is too early to say whether the event will in the future expand to other countries, Offman tells THR: "Mean Girls: The Movie and More is a U.K. pilot, but part of our international content strategy to leverage our 'quality popcorn' that fans love."