– or; What Will Jezza Do Next?
The rights and wrongs of Clarkson-gate to one side, his ‘moving on’ raises some interesting questions about the relative strength of media brands in the 21st Century.
Let’s assume that, for whatever reason, Clarkson and the team want to continue making some type of Top Gear-style programme that has the same global reach as the show which, one way or another, is now no more.
20 years ago, without the support of a big distributor, and probably, in the UK, that really would have meant the BBC, this would have been almost impossible.
Now? Not so much.
Even our grannies could tell us that they could air it on YouTube, without even beginning to think about all the other multiple methods of non-classic 21st Century distribution.
Of course, without serious equity in the Top Gear brand, or at least that of its stars, this would be no different to Cousin Jonny posting videos of his latest Minecraft moves.
But that equity does exist, and by the bucketload. Indeed, such has been the commercial success of the show, that attracting funding for producing it would be the least of the makers’ worries. They’d be thinking about which sponsors not only can provide the dough, but which are brand-assonant.
None of this means that the BBC’s brand is anything other than incredibly strong. That would be naive.
It’s just that, if he wants to be, Jezza could very easily see himself in the driving seat again.
In more way than one.
– this piece first kindly published by Campaign Magazine