Transmedia Storytelling

We live in a transmedia world

The release of a movie, the premiere of a TV series or the launch of a product: transmedia storytelling creates reach, relevance and buzz through the targeted activation of customers and target audiences of all kinds.

The art of spanning and consolidating a story across several media formats, so that the user is picked up on the individual channels appropriate to the media form, is the task of transmedia storytelling. The individual strands of a story are woven together seamlessly into a whole and provide the audience with different ways of participating, e.g. via user-generated content, collaboration and interaction.
Transmedia storytelling is therefore developed for and with the audience via a variety of media channels. A cross-media concept like this requires the interplay of different disciplines: authors, concept developers, game designers, directors and programmers all work hand in hand.

Erzählformen im Transmedia Storytelling

Left: In traditional storytelling via multiple media formats, the overall experience is only the sum of its parts. They exist side by side and there is often a dissonance between the media forms.

Right: In transmedia storytelling, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. All parts are integral puzzle pieces for the overall experience and motivate the user/viewer to piece them together.

Since 2010, transmedia storytelling has managed to establish itself, especially in the viral marketing of Hollywood movies – turning its conventions upside down. Unlike traditional movie advertising, it is no longer about the stars and the theatrical release, but is now focused on the movie's fictional universe. This is enriched through viral backstories and digital paper chases (alternate reality games), making it an attention magnet for potential viewers – and a veritable playground for fans.

Transmedia storytelling for video content

Tablets, smartphones, internet-enabled TVs: Video content is viewed on a variety of devices and transmitted via the web. Moving image content is therefore a good example of the amazing possibilities of transmedia storytelling – even for smaller budgets:

From the integration of social media into the TV image and the displaying of context-sensitive additional information, to the interactive intervention in the events of a movie – basic video offers consumers new added value and an individual user experience through internet-based elements. The creative options in the production of film, TV and video are multiplied by the internet as a return channel.

Transmedia storytelling for brands

Many leading consumer brands are increasingly becoming transmedia content production houses – be it Red Bull, Coca-Cola or Mattel.
The trend is moving toward stories of brands, not about brands.
There is a stronger focus on people and their needs in transmedia storytelling for strong profile brands, rather than just pure facts and praise of the products themselves.

It is necessary to create narrative worlds comprised of emotions, values and living environments that resonate with the brand – always keeping a participative customer base in mind:

Transmedia Storytelling Case RedBull

For the promotion of the Red Bull Flying Illusions campaign, we worked together with our network of interdisciplinary partners to develop the Red Bull Good vs. Evil user activation.

The breakdance crew sponsored exclusively by Red Bull is part of the brand myth – bringing the energetic essence of Red Bull to the world through their impressive stage shows. In keeping with the tilting image effect on the Red Bull packaging design that promoted the show, we further developed the story of the "Good vs. Evil" stage show in terms of a digital customer activation: through the web-based use of smartphone technologies, such as motion sensors and selfie cameras, every user has the power to produce their own image with a lenticular effect: They can portray their good and evil sides with an interactive effect selfie on social media. The contest campaign was, of course, promoted using the lenticular selfies of the dancers from the Red Bull Flying Illusion crew. Real life combines with the campaign's online presence and the "Good vs. Evil" claim is experienced directly.

Customers and users thereby seamlessly engage in the attractive Red Bull story world and enrich it through their enthusiasm, feedback and input.

Synergies and added value for customers

Transmedia storytelling reaches your target audience on the various devices they use every day. The omnipresence of relevant story worlds generates sustained attention and thus harbors the potential for long-term brand loyalty – and brand fandom.
The possibility and freedom to immerse oneself, and be creative, in a brand's narrative universe is essential. Thus, fans become brand ambassadors and the actual purchase of a product is only the beginning of the positive network effects that transmedia storytelling enables.

SIRUP has successfully implemented transmedia and interactive formats for clients such as Red Bull, the European culture channel ARTE, the Münchner Residenz Theater and the UFA (Fix Oskar X). SIRUP will support you, as your consultant, in the conception of your transmedia content and offers the technical know-how to implement your interactive applications.


Playful instinct as an impulse