Marketing cross media: towards a narrative interpretation of experience(s)

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presentation at the Cross Media Storytelling Conference, Mechelen, November 2007

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Marketing cross media: towards a narrative interpretation of experience(s)

  1. 1. MARKETING CROSS MEDIA: TOWARDS A NARRATIVE INTERPRETATION OF EXPERIENCE(S) A presentation by Valentina Rao @ Factory Girl
  2. 2. Cross media often marketed as “experience” <ul><li>A fashion (experience economy) </li></ul><ul><li>A general term to define something otherwise difficult to place </li></ul><ul><li>Shares some features with products from experiential and viral marketing, also employing multiple media </li></ul><ul><li>More specifically , </li></ul><ul><li>WHAT DO WE ACTUALLY MEAN WITH “EXPERIENCE”? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Experience is… Location-based entertainment, “brandscaping”
  4. 4. Brand enactment Experience is…
  5. 5. Cross media storytelling (as a whole) Experience is…
  6. 6. brand transmedial story transmedial world franchise (Hollywood) experience marketing viral experience design (web) everyday language philosophy psychology architecture virtual reality gameplay
  7. 7. <ul><li>In recent times we have seen a convergence between brand building and entertainment, as now they both have the goal of telling stories: “Companies will become story owners rather than product owners” </li></ul><ul><li> (R.Jensen, “The Dream Society”) </li></ul><ul><li>At the same time, stories (and the experiences that enact them) are “the fourth commodity”, thus stories (and experiences) are products </li></ul><ul><li>(Pine/Gilmore, “The Experience Economy”) </li></ul><ul><li>Experience is then: </li></ul><ul><li>a) a storytelling form </li></ul><ul><li>b) a unit - with regards to production, but also with regards to narrative </li></ul>
  8. 8. A proposal: experience as a narrative form <ul><li>Theatre -> play </li></ul><ul><li>Writing -> novel, short story </li></ul><ul><li>Cinema -> feature film, short film </li></ul><ul><li>TV -> episode, spot, videoclip </li></ul><ul><li>Internet -> website, blog, wiki </li></ul><ul><li>Cross media -> experience? </li></ul><ul><li>When we look for a narrative form specific to cross media, we are confronted with the notion of experience </li></ul>
  9. 9. “ experience” versus “AN experience” <ul><li>flow of consciousness </li></ul><ul><li>individual </li></ul><ul><li>continuously reassembled into narrative structure (Bruner) </li></ul><ul><li>isolable sequence of external events and </li></ul><ul><li>internal responses </li></ul><ul><li>intersubjective articulation of individual </li></ul><ul><li>experience, with beginning and end (Dilthey) </li></ul><ul><li>act of meaning (Turner) </li></ul><ul><li>aesthetic/deliberate construction (Bakhtin) </li></ul><ul><li>features something worth telling </li></ul><ul><li>(Bruner/Labov) </li></ul>“ experience” “ An experience”
  10. 10. <ul><li>The aim of experiential marketing (and cross media) is to reach costumers/users at a personal level; this is done by exploiting the ambiguity of “experience” </li></ul><ul><li>While producing “an experience”, that product becomes part of the everyday experience of the user, because they are both faces of the same medal, the perception + cognition of the user </li></ul>
  11. 11. How does experience work as narrative? We can already identify some components of cross media storytelling as objects of future investigation:
  12. 12. <ul><li>Storyworld/transmedial world(Klastrup/Tosca)/”stage” (Pine/Gilmore) </li></ul><ul><li>Story/transmedial story (Jenkins) </li></ul><ul><li>Medium </li></ul><ul><li>Genre </li></ul><ul><li>Theme </li></ul><ul><li>Topic </li></ul><ul><li>Architecture of participation/ </li></ul><ul><li>” -ing the thing”(Pine/Gilmore)/ </li></ul><ul><li>” rules” (among others CTA and PRIM/Dena) </li></ul><ul><li>Mode </li></ul><ul><li>Tense </li></ul>Design Experience the experience (perception) Personal level (cognition and personal expression) <ul><li>4 threads: </li></ul><ul><li>sensual </li></ul><ul><li>emotional </li></ul><ul><li>compositional </li></ul><ul><li>spatio-temporal </li></ul><ul><li>(McCarthy/Wright) </li></ul><ul><li>immediate </li></ul><ul><li>reconfiguration </li></ul><ul><li>into narrative </li></ul><ul><li>thought (M.Turner) </li></ul><ul><li>“ gameplay” </li></ul><ul><li>Personal sphere </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive act </li></ul><ul><li>/perceive/learn </li></ul><ul><li>Draw personal meaning </li></ul><ul><li>(Shedroff) </li></ul><ul><li>Act of meaning (Turner) </li></ul><ul><li>Personal expression </li></ul><ul><li>Re-telling of “hard-won </li></ul><ul><li>meaning” (Turner) </li></ul><ul><li>Create self-identity </li></ul><ul><li>Objectify subjective </li></ul><ul><li>stories = create </li></ul><ul><li>conversational capital </li></ul>Dialogue between “macro” and “micro” stories
  13. 13. Main types of narrative in experience(s): <ul><li>Environmental/emerging storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational storytelling </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative storytelling </li></ul>
  14. 14. Environmental storytelling <ul><li>The Quest model </li></ul><ul><li>Two kinds of narrative at the same time: </li></ul><ul><li>Enacted - unstructured narrative controlled by the players </li></ul><ul><li>as they explore the story space </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded - pre-structured but embedded within the mise en </li></ul><ul><li>scene awaiting discovery </li></ul><ul><li>(Jenkins 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Tourists come back with souvenirs, explorers return with stories” (Brand Experience Lab) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Conversational storytelling <ul><li>Storytelling naturally happens in a conversational context </li></ul><ul><li>Conversational storytelling is the result of a constant negotiation between the teller and the listeners; the flow, if not the content, of the conversation is determined by feedback </li></ul><ul><li>In cross media storytelling, a conversation can happen between “macro” stories and “micro” stories, and between different story agents </li></ul>
  16. 16. Collaborative storytelling <ul><li>Stories emerge spontaneously </li></ul><ul><li>Different modes of participation: game, collaboration towards a common goal (wikis, role playing games, fan fiction, world building (WofW), religious stories and more) </li></ul><ul><li>Popular goals: collective construction of tradition and history, collective identity construction (the latter exploited by brands to build brand identity) </li></ul>
  17. 17. CONCLUSIONS/1 <ul><li>When cross media storytelling is marketed as “experience”, it suffers from the indistinctness of the term, and from the analogy with marketing “experiences” </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, “experience” is the only (narrative) concept large enough to encompass all different aspects of cross media storytelling while retaining a centric perspective </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Although “experience” isn’t usually considered narrative, in the last years narrative theory has come closer to cognitive psychology to develop indeed a narrative argument for experience </li></ul><ul><li>The adoption of the notion of “experience” as a narrative form, once released from all fuzzy meanings acquired in other contexts, could be of use to better understanding the dynamics of cross media storytelling </li></ul>CONCLUSIONS/2
  19. 19. Thank you for your attention! inarao @ factorygirl .it www. factorygirl .org www. factorygirl .org/ gamesacrossmedia

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