A Creator’s Guide To Transmedia Storytelling Goes Beyond The Buzzwords

In the advertising industry these days, the phrase “transmedia storytelling” is thrown around almost as much as “content curation” by unimpressive people who don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about in an attempt to sound convincing. So it was refreshing to get a very good overview of what transmedia storytelling is, and isn’t, in Andrea Phillips’ new book, A Creator’s Guide to Transmedia Storytelling: How to Captivate and Engage Audiences across Multiple Platforms.

True to its title, Phillips’ experience as a creator of transmedia shows as she lays out all the elements of successful transmedia efforts, how to plan and structure efforts, and react and adjust to audience participation (or the lack thereof.) She also throws in useful Q and A interviews with other folks who are successful in transmedia.

Many of the examples Phillips uses are efforts that have significant Hollywood or fiction tie-ins. A mention is made of Audi’s “Art of the Heist” and a few other general marketing efforts, but this isn’t a book that will help agency folks pitch the idea of transmedia to marketers who don’t have a innate desire to create fiction-heavy, entertainment-based ideas. It’s primarily a book for storytellers and creative folks who want to wade deep in the creation. And as such, it’s quite a good resource.

Special thanks to McGraw-Hill who provided me with a review copy.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Looks good. The only thing is that transmedia has nothing to do with storytelling. It does have to do with story, story planning, story architecture, story developing, production, distibution etc. – not the same thing. As a storyteller I can tell you that storytellers are fed up with this ‘aquisition’ just like you are fed up with the agency folks pitch and content curation/content marketing nonsense. 

    • Bigfelladingo says:

      Transmedia is a legitimate vehicle for telling storytelling. Content curation and content marketing are not non-sonse, the terms are sometimes used by people who do not understand what they mean. I suggest you stop worrying about acquisition and pitches and pay more attention to your non-digtal, non-cross platform stories.