Transmedia or Cross-Switch: Tell a StoryApr 28
Many of those in media and advertising still think of a model where a message is formulated and then broadcast at an audience. This is generally ineffective and outmoded, especially for those that aren’t already essentially “converts” of your core message. Nevertheless, it is the basis of most web advertising, it is the basis of many magazine ads.
If it is so outmoded, why is it still the standard?
I think it is partially a case of old habits die hard. I have many theories about why many advertisers still try to overload an already media-saturated audience, but since I don’t have the research on-hand, let’s let it pass. Instead, I’d like to point out the alternative, which has been used for over a decade now in the methodology of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) and in the cross-media approach that has been named “transmedia.” All of these methods have been popularized by the top-tier Japanese ad firm Dentsu in their book “The Dentsu Way,” but don’t let them fool you. They are far from the first to use it.
Don’t bombard your audience. Engage them to walk a number of different paths leading to different desired destinations.
Transmedia advertising is a little like choose your own adventure. Create stories and action paths that intersect one another. Some people will be pulled in one direction, others in another. Create paths that lead throughout the intersecting “stories” of your products.
That said, it is still a worthwhile read for anyone working in this field, and it highlights the methods that we are eager to utilize for our clients. The offerings of a creative firm are only as strong as the adventerousness of their clients. We want to build auxiliary transmedia narratives that kick your traditional marketing campaigns into high gear. We want to build stories that stick with the audience, leveraging the archetypical forms our creative director has discovered through over a decade of mythic research.
The underlying point is the same. Tell a story. Invest the budget and time to create a narrative that can pull in audiences from many different angles and let them make their own choices about where that narrative can take them. You will be surprised at the results!
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