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Transmedia Storytelling for Social Impact
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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.

Transmedia Narratives DDB

  1. 1. Transmedia Narratives Fact or Fiction? <ul><li>January 2010, Leo Rayman </li></ul>
  2. 2. Credits <ul><li>Faris Yakob </li></ul><ul><li>Werner Lucksch </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Hayes </li></ul>
  3. 3. Source: The Times, Dec 2009
  4. 4. Contents Author / Department 28/01/10 Page <ul><li>What is a Transmedia Narrative? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the best examples? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes them interesting? </li></ul><ul><li>What does it mean for you? </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is a Transmedia Narrative?
  6. 6. 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 )
  7. 10. What makes them different from Multimedia campaigns? <ul><li>Multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>Spectator </li></ul><ul><li>A message </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed content </li></ul><ul><li>Repeating content across media </li></ul><ul><li>Limited depth of content </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-planned </li></ul><ul><li>Transmedia Narrative </li></ul><ul><li>Participant </li></ul><ul><li>A story </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving story </li></ul><ul><li>Little repetition between media </li></ul><ul><li>Deep content </li></ul><ul><li>Real-time & responsive </li></ul>
  8. 11. 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
  9. 12. Why now? Author / Department 28/01/10 Page
  10. 13. Media conglomerates Generate revenue streams for their various companies headquarters
  11. 14. “ 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)
  12. 15. A response to digital technology?
  13. 16. A response to the threat of illegal downloading?
  14. 17. Multiple platforms simultaneously...
  15. 18. They want to go deeper, find new possibilities, insights and experiences within stories From Spectator to Participator culture
  16. 19. 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…
  17. 20. 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
  18. 21. What are the best examples?
  19. 22. An early example of transmedia narrative…
  20. 24. <ul><li>Final Flight of the Osiris (animated short) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jue (protagonist) tries to send a letter to the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Matrix Reloaded (film) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Characters discuss the “last transmissions from the Osiris”. </li></ul></ul>Enter the Matrix (game) 1 st Mission: retrieve the letter from the post office How deep does the rabbit hole go?
  21. 25. <ul><li>Completely furnished world </li></ul><ul><li>Encyclopedic in information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(full of pop, religious, ethnic, mythological, historic and academic references) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Collaborative authorship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Manga writers, game industry, animators from across the world) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other content designed simultaneously with the movie </li></ul><ul><li>Many points of entry (games, films, comics) </li></ul>
  22. 26. 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
  23. 27. 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
  24. 28. But does that really matter?
  25. 29. “ 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
  26. 30. More examples
  27. 31. SLICE &quot;Oh I've been a bad girl, a very bad girl...&quot; 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.
  28. 32. Story is experienced across multiple platforms simultaneously
  29. 33. Story is experienced across multiple platforms simultaneously
  30. 34. 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
  31. 35. Watch Case Study (…let it load)
  32. 36. 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.
  33. 37. Results <ul><li>More than 200,000 people became involved with the search for the stolen A3 in a single day. </li></ul><ul><li>Online buzz for the A3 grwe by more than four times as a growing number of consumers participated in the thriller. </li></ul><ul><li>Within the first few days of the campaign launch, seven fan sites were created, one of which includes a &quot;Top 10 Reasons to Play Art of the Heist.&quot; </li></ul>
  34. 38. Taking participation to the next level Alternate Reality Games Author / Department 28/01/10 Page
  35. 39. Warner Bros film launch March 2007 – July 2008
  36. 40. Official launch site
  37. 41.
  38. 42. Discovery: Joker cards found in comic shop
  39. 43. Participation: Emails registered. When achieved sufficient numbers, they eventually revealed…
  40. 44. Reward: Heath Ledger is the Joker
  41. 45. &quot;Jokerized&quot; $1 bills are found that lead to
  42. 46. – a recruitment site for ‘goons’
  43. 47., challenging participants to take photographs in clown make-up by major national landmarks in groups.
  44. 48. THE CAKES Sent to locations (apparently bakeries). Once there, participants are to pick up a package left under the name &quot;Robin Banks.&quot; 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.”
  45. 49. Incredibly elaborate and rolling game/campaign *check out full list of activities…
  46. 50. Results <ul><li>50m Google searches for The Dark Knight and more than 55,000 videos tagged The Dark Knight on YouTube. </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li> shows 106,299 blog posts on the launch day of the film alone. </li></ul><ul><li>On July 18, blogpulse recorded a peak of 1.307% of all blog posts on the web. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the YouTube videos have received more than 4 million views each and generated hundreds of thousands of comments. </li></ul><ul><li>The official trailer only generated 105,244 views. </li></ul>
  47. 52. BBC experiment al site - gathers chat around their content. Allows for storyline co-creation.
  48. 53. What makes Transmedia Narratives interesting?
  49. 54. Give us new ideas on opportunities within digital technology and social participation…
  50. 55. Being a little more specific for your brand? <ul><li>Launching an eagerly awaited product </li></ul><ul><li>Motivating a fan base </li></ul><ul><li>Creating depth of engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Multi-channel integration </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing ‘redundancy’ (i.e. repetition across channels) </li></ul><ul><li>Co-creating content </li></ul>
  51. 56. Discussion <ul><li>Is it right for brands outside of the Entertainment industry? </li></ul><ul><li>Does your brand / product have ardent fans? </li></ul><ul><li>Does your brand have a story </li></ul><ul><li>Does the story have to be fictional? </li></ul><ul><li>Does fiction fit with your brand’s values? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we gear-up to a ‘continuous’ rather than ‘start-stop’ mode of production </li></ul><ul><li>How can you minimise risk of failure? </li></ul>
  52. 57. Thank you.

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


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