Transmedia Narratives DDB
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Transmedia Narratives DDB

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Short exploration of Transmedia Narratives and what they offer brands. Some implications and questions for discussion.

Short exploration of Transmedia Narratives and what they offer brands. Some implications and questions for discussion.

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  • "TRANSMEDIA NARRATIVES: FACT OR FICTION? We've been talking about this phrase for some time but what does it really mean (if anything)? 2010 is the year Transmedia hits the big time (according to The Times, see pic below) Whatever you choose to call it, Hollywood film studios, digital businesses and some forward-thinking agencies are extremely interested to see how different channels can be best combined to tell a compelling story in the age of participation. As stimulus, there will be a short presentation drawing on examples including The Matrix, Heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Audi A3, Penguin Books and more... Then we'll talk about how we can use this."
  • Transmedia - has gone into mainstream press, this from The Times (UK)
  • 1. 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. So, for example, in The Matrix franchise, key bits of information are conveyed through three live action films, a series of animated shorts, two collections of comic book stories, and several video games. There is no one single source or ur-text where one can turn to gain all of the information needed to comprehend the Matrix universe.
  • Examples of great world building
  • Examples of great world building
  • Coca Cola’s Happiness Factory
  • Contemporary transmedia storytellers like the Wachowski Brothers or Joss Whedon are telling stories that were designed from the start as cross-media narratives, and are deliberately taking advantage of the strengths of each media type to enrich each project. The Enter the Matrix video game, for example, wasn’t created just as a cheap grab for more money but as an actual chapter in the larger narrative of The Matrix, and the second and third Matrix films only truly made sense if you’d played the video game.
  • The matrix is a lot more than the film: short animations, games, comic books
  • The person that is really deep into the story will have a different experience than “Joe Popcorn”. The latter, however, may feel lost in middle of so much information
  • "Oh I've been a bad girl, a very bad girl..." Lisa (Slice to her friends) has moved to London with her parents to separate her from 'bad influences'. Coming from the US, Slice is immediately intrigued by the creepy old house they move into. But are her suspicions that the house is haunted well-founded, or is it her teenage over-imagination at work? Over four days, starting on Tuesday 25th March and ending on Friday, you can follow Slice's story on her own weblog and her parents. If you want to get even more immersed, you can also email the characters and follow them through text messages on Twitter.
  • The story The story revolved around Nisha Roberts and Ian Yarbrough, and their art retrieval business, Last Resort Retrieval. The majority of the plot involved the attempts of Nisha, Ian, the players, and Nisha's video game designer friend, Virgil in trying to stop the world's greatest art heist. Ian and Nisha, specifically, were hot on the tracks of a very coordinated theft team, which was led by a person who was initially identified only as Arclight. Arclight was organizing theft timetables, commissioning forged replicas, doing reconnaissance work, and hiring all manner of unruly assistants for the big heist. Virgil seemed to be the main suspect throughout much of the game, due to his odd behaviour and lousy attitude. Early in the game, a security camera recording was discovered which showed a shadowy villain stashing pieces of information inside 6 different Audi A3 cars. The cars, throughout the course of the game, were all tracked down, and infiltrated by the Retrievers, to get back the information hidden in them. By piecing together the whole of all data found in all cars, the full scope of the Big Art Heist was revealed.
  • The idea was basically to create Gotham in real-time from the end of Batman Begins right up until the beginning of The Dark Knight . A year and a half out you have the opportunity to explore the characters, the strong themes. Those were punctuated by activities that "eventize" the web, like Comic-Con , like the first image of the Joker revealed , or the ringing cakes or campaigning for Harvey Dent or the scavenger hunt to get to go see the third trailer.
  • At the San Diego Comic-Con, "Jokerized" $1 bills are found that lead to Whysoserious.com , a page advertising for jobs as Joker henchmen. The page includes coordinates to a location near the convention center and a countdown clock set to go off the next morning at 10am. July 27, 2007 - Hundreds gather at the time and place listed on Whysoserious.com . At 10am, a phone number is written in the sky, launching the game. Collaborating with friends online, the assembled crowd (now wearing Joker face paint) is sent on a scavenger hunt throughout the city. After solving all the clues, a fan was selected to be abducted and killed in place of the Joker. The participants at San Diego were given clown masks as a reward, while online players were rewarded with the first teaser trailer for The Dark Knight . July 30, 2007 - Whysoserious.com is shut down and replaced with Rent-a-clown.com , a clown rental company whose "employees" are the fans from Whysoserious.com . The page contains the message "made you look" hidden in its source code.

Transmedia Narratives DDB Transmedia Narratives DDB Presentation Transcript

  • Transmedia Narratives Fact or Fiction?
    • January 2010, Leo Rayman
  • Credits
    • Faris Yakob http://www.linkedin.com/in/farisyakob
    • Werner Lucksch http://www.linkedin.com/in/wiucksch
    • Gary Hayes http://www.personalizemedia.com
  • Source: The Times, Dec 2009
  • Contents Author / Department 28/01/10 Page
    • What is a Transmedia Narrative?
    • What are the best examples?
    • What makes them interesting?
    • What does it mean for you?
  • What is a Transmedia Narrative?
  • Transmedia Storytelling “ A transmedia story unfolds across multiple media platforms, with each new element making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story. ” Henry Jenkins in “Convergence Culture” (2006 )
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • What makes them different from Multimedia campaigns?
    • Multimedia
    • Spectator
    • A message
    • Fixed content
    • Repeating content across media
    • Limited depth of content
    • Pre-planned
    • Transmedia Narrative
    • Participant
    • A story
    • Evolving story
    • Little repetition between media
    • Deep content
    • Real-time & responsive
  • Contemporary transmedia storytellers like the Wachowski Brothers* or Joss Whedon** are telling stories that were designed from the start as cross-media narratives, and are deliberately taking advantage of the strengths of each media type to enrich each project. *The Matrix, V for Vendetta **X-Men, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Toy Story, The Office
  • Why now? Author / Department 28/01/10 Page
  • Media conglomerates Generate revenue streams for their various companies headquarters
  • “ When I first started, you would pitch a story because without a a good story you didn’t really have a film. Later, once sequels started to take-off, you pitched a character because a good character could support multiple stories. And now, you pitch a world because a world can support multiple characters and multiple stories across multiple media.” Hollywood scriptwriter cited by Jenkins in “Convergence Culture” (2006 p.114)
  • A response to digital technology?
  • A response to the threat of illegal downloading?
  • Multiple platforms simultaneously...
  • They want to go deeper, find new possibilities, insights and experiences within stories From Spectator to Participator culture
  • People have become so comfortable with media technology that they seem to flow from one platform to the next. The problem is that their content is not flowing with them. As a discipline, Transmedia provides a foundation for the development, production and rollout of entertainment properties or consumer brands across all of these platforms. Transmedia creates the flow. As a mass audience we’re too savvy and too impatient to experience the same content over and over again. There’s too much out there to enjoy…
  • Transmedia planning (online) IMAGE WORD ANYTIME REALTIME Time format Media format Your Story SOCIAL NETWORK PROFILE SOCIAL NETWORK GROUPS LIVE CHAT LIFESTREAMS VIRTUAL WORLDS GAMING LIVE STREAMING WIKIS VIDEO SHARING SITES FICTIONAL WEBSITES PHOTO SHARING SITES FORUMS Story played-out in games Role playing the story in real time Live event streaming / character interaction Threaded discussion Story delivered in real time through character interaction Collaborative story editing Groups around stories Characters made real on social networks Photos linked to the story Back story fictional websites Episodic character back story
  • What are the best examples?
  • An early example of transmedia narrative…
  •  
    • Final Flight of the Osiris (animated short)
      • Jue (protagonist) tries to send a letter to the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar
    • Matrix Reloaded (film)
      • Characters discuss the “last transmissions from the Osiris”.
    Enter the Matrix (game) 1 st Mission: retrieve the letter from the post office How deep does the rabbit hole go?
    • Completely furnished world
    • Encyclopedic in information
      • (full of pop, religious, ethnic, mythological, historic and academic references)
    • Collaborative authorship
      • (Manga writers, game industry, animators from across the world)
    • Other content designed simultaneously with the movie
    • Many points of entry (games, films, comics)
  • By creating a world, with different stories happening in different media, it’s inevitable that not everyone will have the same experience. Is it a love story? (Keanu Reeves said so) Is it “a titanic struggle between intuition and controlling intellect”? (Hugo Weaving, aka Agent Smith) Is it a story about believing in something or not believing in something? Is it a story about secret societies keeping society under control? Is it a story about men’s history or men’s future? Is it just an enhanced Kung Fu movie? The Matrix
  • Good Not so good Possibility to link personal media behaviour into the story Endless possibilities to get conversation about the story going Community building Possibility to alienate non-hardcore audiences Restricted experience by digital divide Different Levels of Experience
  • But does that really matter?
  • “ If you give people enough stuff to explore, they will explore. Not everyone but some of them will. The people who do explore and take advantage of the whole world will forever be your fans, will give you an energy you can’t buy through marketing ” Ed Sanchez, Blair Witch Project
  • More examples
  • SLICE "Oh I've been a bad girl, a very bad girl..." Lisa (Slice to her friends) has moved to London with her parents to separate her from 'bad influences'. Coming from the US, Slice is immediately intrigued by the creepy old house they move into. But are her suspicions that the house is haunted well-founded, or is it her teenage over-imagination at work? Over four days, starting on Tuesday 25th March and ending on Friday, you could follow Slice's story on her own weblog and her parents. If you wanted to get even more immersed, you couldalso email the characters and follow them through text messages on Twitter.
  • Story is experienced across multiple platforms simultaneously
  • Story is experienced across multiple platforms simultaneously
  • The Amanda Project is the story of Amanda Valentino, told through an interactive website and book series for readers aged 13 & up. On the website, readers are invited to become a part of the story as they help the main characters search for Amanda
  • Watch Case Study (…let it load)
  • Audi A3: “Art of the H3ist” THE STORY revolved around Nisha Roberts and Ian Yarbrough, and their art retrieval business. The majority of the plot involved the attempts of Nisha, Ian, the players, and Nisha's video game designer friend, Virgil to stop the world's greatest art heist. Early in the game, a security camera recording was discovered which showed a shadowy villain stashing pieces of information inside 6 different Audi A3 cars. The cars, throughout the course of the game, were all tracked down, and infiltrated by the Retrievers, to get back the information hidden in them. By piecing together the whole of all data found in all cars, the full scope of the Big Art Heist was revealed.
  • Results
    • More than 200,000 people became involved with the search for the stolen A3 in a single day.
    • Online buzz for the A3 grwe by more than four times as a growing number of consumers participated in the thriller.
    • Within the first few days of the campaign launch, seven fan sites were created, one of which includes a "Top 10 Reasons to Play Art of the Heist."
  • Taking participation to the next level Alternate Reality Games Author / Department 28/01/10 Page
  • Warner Bros film launch March 2007 – July 2008
  • Official launch site
  • Ibelieveinharveydent.com
  • Discovery: Joker cards found in comic shop
  • Participation: Ibelieveinharveydenttoo.com Emails registered. When achieved sufficient numbers, they eventually revealed…
  • Reward: Heath Ledger is the Joker
  • "Jokerized" $1 bills are found that lead to Whysoserious.com
  • Whysoserious.com – a recruitment site for ‘goons’
  • RorysDeathKiss.com, challenging participants to take photographs in clown make-up by major national landmarks in groups.
  • THE CAKES Sent to locations (apparently bakeries). Once there, participants are to pick up a package left under the name "Robin Banks." The package is a cake with a phone number on it. By calling the number, a phone inside the cake will ring. After digging into the cake, the participant will find an evidence bag with a cell phone, Joker card, cell phone charger, and a note: “ Good work, clown! Keep this phone charged and with you at all times. Don't call me, I'll call you...eventually.”
  • Incredibly elaborate and rolling game/campaign *check out full list of activities…
  • Results
    • 50m Google searches for The Dark Knight and more than 55,000 videos tagged The Dark Knight on YouTube.
    • By July 18, 2008, The Dark Knight website reached 1.5 per cent of entire users of the internet, the site had 5,270 sites linking to it
    • Blogsphere.com shows 106,299 blog posts on the launch day of the film alone.
    • On July 18, blogpulse recorded a peak of 1.307% of all blog posts on the web.
    • Some of the YouTube videos have received more than 4 million views each and generated hundreds of thousands of comments.
    • The official trailer only generated 105,244 views.
  •  
  • BBC experiment al site - gathers chat around their content. Allows for storyline co-creation.
  • What makes Transmedia Narratives interesting?
  • Give us new ideas on opportunities within digital technology and social participation…
  • Being a little more specific for your brand?
    • Launching an eagerly awaited product
    • Motivating a fan base
    • Creating depth of engagement
    • Multi-channel integration
    • Reducing ‘redundancy’ (i.e. repetition across channels)
    • Co-creating content
  • Discussion
    • Is it right for brands outside of the Entertainment industry?
    • Does your brand / product have ardent fans?
    • Does your brand have a story
    • Does the story have to be fictional?
    • Does fiction fit with your brand’s values?
    • Can we gear-up to a ‘continuous’ rather than ‘start-stop’ mode of production
    • How can you minimise risk of failure?
  • Thank you.