A transmedia narrative is a significant concept of the convergence culture. The video below views transmedia storytelling as creating a complex experience. In Henry Jenkins, article Transmedia Storytelling 101 (2007) he states that, “By convergence I mean the flow of content across multiple media platforms.” Similarly, transmedia content shares multiple stories over numerous mediums and channels. Over time, new media platforms have revolutionised the ways in which the audience interprets the medium and the message. Therefore, transmedia narratives allow content to flow across multiple channels such as books, films, games, TV series, merchandise and websites. The multiple options of mediums are catalyst for a powerful cross-marketing effect.
An important principle of transmedia narratives is to create an innovative medium that engages the audience’s attention. Thus, engagement is the key principle. Essentially, the more entry points to the story will result in additional options for audience engagement. According to Henry Jenkins (2007) he states that “Transmedia storytelling is the ideal aesthetic form for an era of collective intelligence.” It may indicate that audience participation plays an important part in discovering the fictional world.
Transmedia storytelling provides opportunities for the producer of the content to build a successful relationship with the audience. In Hollywood, the most recent example of transmedia story telling is The Hunger Games movie trilogy. In the summer of 2011, Lions Gate created a transmedia campaign for their film adaptation of The Hunger Games.
In partnership with Microsoft, The Hunger Games Explorer was an interactive website that allowed the audience to engage across multiple channels. The website allowed fans to become citizens of the Panem and advance the campaigns narrative through their own actions. On the website, citizens were able to go on a Capitol Tour and access never before scene locations of Panem. At the American Video Music Awards, a twitter hashtag (#Whatsmydistrict) was used in the teaser trailer that allowed fans to discover the capitol and its location. On the Capitol.pn site fans were given district assignments, a job and an ID card. On networking sites such as Facebook, hubs were created for Panems 12 districts and citizens were able to run for their district mayor ship. On Tumblr, a fashion blog was created to showcase the fashion couture of Panem and Capitol TV was created on YouTube. In the course of the campaign the most enthusiastic Fans received merchandise, exclusive emails of capitol figures and fans were able to work collaborator to reveal campaigns. Over the 8 month period, 1 million ID cards were created, dramatic increase in the films Facebook page, 22 million video views, 36,500,000 books sold and helped Lions Gate achieve the highest non-sequel opening in film history.
This is just the beginning of The Hunger Games transmedia narrative, audiences will have to wait and see what transmedia experience is yet to develop.
Jenkins, H. (2007) ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101’, http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html