In Ridley Scott’s ‘Prometheus,’ the Advertising Is Part of the Picture

If you’re not yet versed in transmedia storytelling, here are some things you should know.

The Creative/Marketing Line Has Blurred:
TED2023 is evidence of the blurring line between creative content and marketing. With its highly produced online promo, “Prometheus” has transcended the two-hour movie format to become an immersive and pervasive entertainment experience.

Since the dawn of the internet, movie marketers have been attempting to leverage the internet to build excitement around releases and, ultimately, “go viral.” The majority of these efforts have failed because they have been created in isolation from the core creative team, by a siloed agency with no access to talent or authority to add to the story. In many instances, additional content that is not planned in concert with the core creative team ends up explicitly contradictory to the movie — a major frustration for fans and stakeholders alike.

TED2023 shatters that paradigm. The spot was masterminded by Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof, and directed by Scott’s son Luke. With stellar production values and, in Guy Pearce, a top-tier actor, it feels tonally consistent with the movie universe. This integrated approach represents the way that all successful entertainment brand extensions and digital marketing campaigns will be run going forward.

Successful Transmedia Engages on Multiple Levels:
Like all the best examples of transmedia storytelling, TED2023 can engage audiences on multiple levels. Enthusiasts can delve into the fictional web site for Peter Weyland’s company (www.weylandindustries.com). Those unfamiliar with Ridley Scott’s prior work may find their interest piqued by the video and the discussion around it, and be drawn deeper into the “Prometheus” mythology. Those who don’t pursue all the transmedia “rabbit holes” still will know about the movie.

The Marketing Is an Extension of the Story Itself:
Most commercial brands are learning that traditional marketing and advertising rules don’t necessarily apply online. For example, banner adverts are largely ignored, particularly by Gen Y’s digital natives, and attempts to reach consumers on social media remain experimental. TED2023 illustrates an alternate route for digital campaigns: partnering on co-branded transmedia story extensions, which can take the form of web video, social games or even scripted stories told through Facebook or Twitter. Simply put, you’re no longer a commercial to be ignored or tuned out; you’re a part of the story, and audiences will respond accordingly.

Challenge and Opportunity:
In the transition to transmedia, marketers have the opportunity and responsibility to become bona fide storytellers. The content they generate must be compatible with the themes, tone and messaging of the film. This requires a heightened level of communication between producers, studio marketing teams and agencies brought on to execute a transmedia campaign.In 2010, the Producer’s Guild of America ratified a “transmedia producer” credit for those responsible for managing the extension of a brand across multiple platforms and facilitating communication with marketers, digital, licensing and gaming partners. Marketers interested in bringing new value to their clients should investigate hiring an accredited transmedia producer -– or even applying to gain the credit for themselves. Every marketer needs to consider the best way to extend a brand across multiple platforms. TED2023 is just the tip of the iceberg of what is possible.

Read the full article by Starlight Runner’s Jeff Gomez and Simon Pulman at Ad Age. 

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  1. modernmatthew posted this