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.