Archive | March, 2012

The Next Revolution in Online Advertising: Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” Uses Transmedia

28 Mar

Transmedia Used to Promote Ridley Scott’s New Film “Prometheus”

20th Century Fox released a video to help promote Ridley Scott’s new film Prometheus.  It wasn’t a trailer. It wasn’t one of those awful ‘watch people watch the screening in night vision’ videos.  It wasn’t even a behind the scenes clip.  It was Peter Weyland, founder of Weyland industries speaking at the TED conference in the year 2023.  He delivers an inspiring speech in which he relates the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from the Greek Gods and gave it to humans.

 

In this 3 minute and 9 second speech there is no mention of Prometheus the film.   At the end of the clip we are provided a web address for WeylandIndustries.com.  This, my friends is Transmedia and I hope it catches on like…well, like fire.

What is Transmedia?

Transmedia is a way of telling a story through multiple platforms using digital technologies.   Transmedia builds on the ideas of Technological Convergance.  Basically the idea is that all the mediums that had been traditionally separate (television, radio, print, etc.) are becoming one medium or consumable by one piece of technology.

A great example of this is a smart phone.  At first a cell phone’s primary use was to take and receive phone calls.  Now cell  phones can do that in addition to take video, photo, compose email, transmit documents, surf the web, play music and on and on and on.   Transmedia acts in the same way.  Instead of a film being just film (or a book adaptation) living in its own environment, it becomes a video game, or a website, or an album.

In the case of Prometheus, a traditional commercial is transformed into a piece of content that supplements the story of the film.

Why is Transmedia Effective?

Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox aren’t the only ones aware of transmedia, Coca Cola and many others are getting into the mix as well (check out Coke’s Content 2020 videos).  What makes transmedia so effective is its emphasis on story and branding versus selling and corporation.  The groundswell has been moving businesses in this direction for some time now and the evolution of social media is being realized.

Businesses are just now starting to catch on to tools such as; blogs, twitter, facebook, pinterest, instagram, etc. which changing the way companies communicate their brand.

We are moving away further and further away from traditional media that shouts as loud as it can so that the most people can hear it.  We are moving towards most intimate conversations that speak to highly targeted groups.   Transmedia will spark the conversation while social media outlets and the like facilitate it.

Facebook Expands Advertising No Small Announcement

5 Mar

Facebook Logo

What is the Future of Facebook?

At an event that included a performance by Alicia Keys (doesn’t she have something better to do?), Facebook announced a few big changes to the way it’s going to handle advertising. These days hearing that Facebook is changing comes with more indifferent sighs and grunts from its users. What they might not be thinking about is that these decisions might be critical decisions about the future of their favorite website.

Since Facebook has allowed advertising and with their IPO on the imminent horizon there should be no shockers when it comes to advertising on Facebook. Next time you’re on Facebook check out the terms and services. You’ll come to the sobering realization that Facebook owns your ass and there’s nothing you do can do about it.

Even with Facebook arguably at the peak of its membership performance the next hurdle will be how can they grow through monetization? This is a tricky thing to navigate. If you appeal too much to the advertisers at the expense of the user experience you’ll fail. Lean too favorably to the members and you’ll fall equally hard.

We’re in a very interesting and exciting age of new mediums right now. In my opinion the internet is finally realizing its full potential in so far as our ability to connect and consume information. While the capability is there no one knows what the hell they’re doing yet. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Pinterest, Spotify etc. are venturing into unknown business territory. The rules are being made up as we go along.

What this all makes me wonder is where will all of this be in the next ten years, twenty years, fifty years? Will Google and Facebook be the GE and P&G of the next century? That’s hard to imagine at this point. The announcement about Facebook’s new advertising policy and looming IPO might be very small news to most of its users, but how they handle the coming months and years might determine the course of the social media medium as we know it.

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