DIGITAL MEDIA FROM THE INSIDE OUT: My focus is digital content -- production, distribution, collaboration, innovation, creativity. Some posts have appeared across the web (HuffPo, Tribeca's Future of Film, The Wrap, MIPblog, etc.). To receive these posts regularly via email, sign up for my newsletter here.

Entries in business communications (2)


Transmedia Branding Resources

Here's a selection of links and resources that accompany my Transmedia Branding post which I wrote for the May issue of Communications World from the IABC.

• Audi launched its A3 car in North America with Art of the Heist, a spy movie that audience members could participate in. The campaign was one of the first so-called “alternate reality games” launched by a brand and agency Campfire. Here’s a case study. To track these types of games, subscribe to newsletters from ARG.netand Unfiction.  

• Wrigley’s launched a mysterious “Mission Icefly,” a game that recruited “test subjects” who could only get deeper into the game by using special codes printed on packs of gum. The process of discovering the mysterywas a big part of the appeal of the game, produced by veteran transmedia firm 42 Entertainment.

• Old Spice created an online sensation when it brought back its tired old brand through humor and a sexy spokesman, Isaiah Mustafa, showing a keen sense of how different platforms can be used to create brand ambassadors out of curious users, including a cool interactive ad, profiled here. Dive deeper into the brand’s masterful internet “meme” in this case study.

• Lego transcends toys by creating story-based experiences for kids and other customers. Check out this overview of the Lego approach to transmedia.

• The iconic apparel marketer Levi-Strauss built a youth-targeted YouTube-centric story universe with video channels devoted to culture, men’s and women’s style, collaborations, and events. Read more.

• Toymaker Mattel built out the back-story of its famous dolls with videos, games and other digital content, radiating from a website hub. Check out this case study.

• Google’s Creative Sandbox website curates successful digital campaigns, including some cool transmedia storytelling experiences.

• “Transmedia Storytelling and the Media Cloverleaf” offers a PR agency perspective from Edelman.

• B2B Transmedia Marketing, one of the newest disciplines, is one of the areas of focus for a program at the USC Annenberg Innovation Lab.


How to become a transmedia designer for your brand

The following post was commissioned the International Association of Business Communications (IABC) for their May 2013 issue of Communications World, exploring different aspects of transmedia with other articles by Andrea Phillips, Allison Norrington, and many others.

The more the audience can participate in your storyworld, the greater their emotional connection.

By now you’ve heard the buzz about transmedia storytelling, right? Stories that reach fans across multiple delivery platforms, like those created by the big entertainment franchises (Star Wars, Batman, Glee, American Idol, Halo, Harry Potter and more).

Or the big consumer brands, whose inventive story-centric experiences have deepened customer engagement (like Coca-Cola, Audi, Old Spice, Mattel, Wrigley and Levi’s).

Or a new class of independent experience designers who are pioneering this art form with more imagination than money. They are tapping into the power of new digital platforms, devices and social media.

All of which is leading many marketers to believe that transmedia storytelling is the future of brand building and consumer engagement. By using these new techniques, marketers expand their brand campaigns across various media, reach new audiences, deepen engagement, and delight in the story and its messages.

Henry Jenkins, a professor at the University of Southern California who first popularized transmedia, offers provides the definitive definition: “Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.”

More than just a technique to propagate a brand or message (integrated marketing), transmedia storytelling uses narrative devices like character, plot, themes, tone and emotional engagement to create a complete experience.

In other words, a story.

“The reason that we keep saying that traditional marketing approaches no longer work is that the social web has created a new consumer psychology,” writes says media psychologist Pamela Rutledge. “Consumers expect you to earn their attention, not interrupt them for it.

Click to read more ...