Transmedia Storytelling in Product Launches

by Pablo Sanchez  11 September 2013

Is there any doubt that launching a product successfully requires a company to be innovative and entertaining? Gone are the days of simply sending out a press release and waiting to be noticed. In today’s competitive marketplace, generating buzz is the most important aspect of a product launch, and the way to accomplish that is by going with a transmedia approach. What is Transmedia Storytelling? At its most basic, transmedia storytelling is how your company is going to attract the attention you need to have a successful product launch. It involves the consumer across a variety of different platforms, telling a story about the product while making sure that the marketing remains virtually unnoticed. After all, no one wants to be manipulated into buying a product — but if you were to engage the customer through a series of smartphone apps, emails, and online interaction, the odds favor that customer remembering your brand in a favorable light. One of the best examples of transmedia storytelling can be found with the film, “The Blair Witch Project.” Prior to the film opening at the Sundance Film Festival, various “Missing Persons” flyers were posted, with the faces of the team starring in the movie. These posters could be found throughout the Sundance area, and when participants saw the movie, they realized the actors in the film were the same people who were now missing. This, in turn, generated a lot of buzz — and the film went on to become a huge commercial success. Although it cost less than $1 million to produce and distribute, it went on to gross over $248 million. Creating a Transmedia Experience If you’re thinking about going with a transmedia storytelling approach for your product, you need to find a competent team to assist you. Done correctly, transmedia storytelling can present a compelling way to get your product noticed — but if it is done incorrectly, it can be boring and ineffective. Working with professionals will allow you to concentrate on your product launch, leaving the storytelling to others. Transmedia is More than Marketing Since transmedia storytelling is more about the story than about the platform being used to tell the story, it’s important to understand that it deals with much more than marketing. For example, if your company is using transmedia storytelling to garner interest in your new car, having that car show up in key moments of a video is all you need to create brand awareness in your customer. Done correctly, transmedia storytelling is a powerful tool to sell your product — and done incorrectly, it can come across as nothing more than blatant advertising.

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