Big media companies talk about “breaking the silos” all the time, but often, it remains just that—talk—while content gets incubated and marketed by separate digital and traditional creative teams. With a new project called The Adventures of One Eskimo, though, Warner Bros. has actually tried to walk the “no silos” talk.
Described as a “visual album,” the project blends music, animation, digital distribution and social media—and teams from Warner Premiere, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, and Warner Bros. Television collaborated on it from the start. Available on iTunes in September, the 10-episode animated series tells the story of a boy and his quest to win back his lost love, rock opera-style.
One eskimO is a U.K.-based electronic and indie rock band, with a hybrid live/animated persona (much like the band Gorillaz). Warner liked both the band’s sound and its style, and immediately brokered deals with the band’s label, Shangri-La Records, and its management firm, Passion Pictures (which also animates Gorillaz).
I went to the exclusive launch event last night, and Eva Semple Davis, Warner Premiere’s SVP of acquisitions and business development, told me it was imperative that the company “pooled all of [its] assets to create a total music experience” from the start.
Each episode will feature a single track from the upcoming One eskimO album, which also launches in September; a new episode will be available each week on iTunes, with hooks that hopefully entice viewers to buy the next one. No pricing details yet, but Michele Edelman, VP of marketing for Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, said the series will be available in standard definition and HD; there’s also potential to expand to other digital distributors like Amazon.com and Netflix, as well as a DVD release.
Warner is hoping a social media campaign with blogger outreach, and even an alternate reality game, will drum up buzz for the project. The campaign kicks off with the band’s appearance at the upcoming Comic-Con convention; attendees will be invited to help One Eskimo (also the name of the series’ main character) find his lost love, Little Feather, by using various clues seeded around the web. Warner has created a microsite, FindLittleFeather.com, as the primary point of entry. I’m already hooked—so I’ll definitely be trying to piece together the puzzle come September.
By Tameka Kee