Frodo stole the heart of the economy

Dr Sevay Ipek Aydin
3 min readMay 5, 2020


Photo by Andres Iga on Unsplash

In reality, it is not easy to separate the products and services that we know belong to which of the creative industries. Even though the valuable experts of the United Nations (UNCTAD) working in this field identified the industries within the target of creative economy, each element that bears creativity within, intersects with this sector in terms of the economic impact it creates.

World’s leading creative economy researchers convened at the United Nations in Geneva at the end of October. Best practices of other countries in creative economy were discussed over by leading experts from government, business, academia and international organizations under five themes, which are:

· global cultural economy,

· assessment of creative products and services, and their contribution to the economy,

· exhibit the potentials for the commercial and development gains of creative economy,

· global trends in creative economy: new horizons,

· building national strategies and capacity for the evolving creative economy.

Aside from the contribution of Bilbo Baggins to New Zealand’s brand value and to its communication strategy, the economic gains it brought to the country made a tremendous impact. After the Lord of Rings movie, which was shot in (the first two parts) Wellington, New Zealand, the country- a country in the Pacific Ocean consisting of small islands- turned into an important tourism centre in an instant. When J.R.R. Tolkien’s Trilogy, considered one of the most important works of world literature, was turned into a movie at Hollywood’s giant studios in New Zealand, remember that it has attracted huge interest of millions once again.

The book’s turning into a movie increased the tourism income of New Zealand, a country of four million people, to almost 4 billion dollars. This development called, the ‘‘Frodo Economy’’, has rippled across New Zealand, making it a significant touristic destination. The end result is that tourism is still the major source of income for the country.

Photo by Tobias Stonjeck on Unsplash

This valuable production, a fictionalized story of Frodo Baggins chasing a ring, in fact is a very good example to show the power of cinema, which is a creative industry area, in national development.

When, in her presentation at the United Nations summit, Diana Barrowclough dragged us to New Zealand again chasing after the ring, and told us about New Zealand’s approach to this sector and how they carried out the “New Zealand On Air” project with a national co-financing system, the economic design behind the ‘Lord of the Rings’ became more visible. A real success story for economic creativity…

British Council’s Arts and Creative Industries Regional Director Katelijn Verstraete defined creative industries as ‘future workmanship’. However, her point on what was being built was very crucial. She stated that ‘social communication’ was being built, which was more inclusive and beyond cultural heritage and development, cultural value and identity, and even beyond economic value.

Of course, a question comes into minds at this point. If creative economy is about humans, can a local impact analysis be applied exactly to the culture of another country/region? Even though ‘creativity defines global nationality’ as stated by Licata[1], it falls short of focusing on cultural topics locally alone. Therefore, it would be best when we think locally and act globally, and witness ‘good practices’ when developing local economic criteria.

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Surely, as we talk about all this, ‘a country may own both Rhianna[2] and leaking roofs’ as the Barbados representative stated…If development is in question, the share of multidimensionality and touching lives should be increased.

[1] Margherita Licata, Sectoral Policy Department, ILO, Geneva.

[2] Rhianna, singer who was bor in Barbados.



Dr Sevay Ipek Aydin

PhDc.Learning Addict. Creative Economy Researcher. Creative editor. R&D Centre Director. Event Curator. Mad about art and design.