Transmedia storytelling
Content Marketing
Nov 09, 2017
Laura Sánchez
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What Transmedia Storytelling Is and How to Apply It to Your Digital Campaigns

Home > Content Marketing > What Transmedia Storytelling Is and How to Apply It to Your Digital Campaigns
In the digital age, brands struggle to connect with consumers through different formats: blogs, videos, ebooks, social name it. We’re going to introduce you to transmedia storytelling: a new way of offering valuable content where the user assumes an active role and interacts with the company.

Some time ago, companies communicated with consumers on a basic level through one channel: advertising. While this included different methods like brochures and advertisements in traditional media, it was only advertising. If the consumer liked it, great. But what if they didn’t? There was no kind of interaction. This kind of one-way communication was effectively a monologue.

The arrival of the digital age has transformed this whole process, in which the consumer has a greater power of influence over companies. Brands struggle to innovate over their competitors and reach an increasingly demanding user, within their digital strategy. How can they succeed? Through different channels, and with novel, personalised and added-value content.

This is where the term transmedia storytelling enters the picture, introduced by American researcher Henry Jenkins in an article published in January 2003. Transmedia storytelling is defined as a story that is told through various media and communication platforms. This content can be offered through blogs, videos, ebooks, social networks, movies, etc. All this content has a common thread, through which the consumer plays an active role.

“The contents are always new, in each medium and in each platform. It’s a puzzle in which all the pieces fit together to complete the story, while the user is given new information in each piece", explains Laia Vidal, transmedia expert, in the webinar “The change in the role of users in the transmedia storytelling”, by IEBS Business School.

Success story

A good example of transmedia storytelling is the project of the companies Intel and Toshiba. Their goal was to connect with customers and, at the same time, promote the Toshiba Ultrabook. Both companies created an online mini-series of 6 webisodes, called “The Beauty Inside”.

The protagonist was Alex, a young man who woke up every day with a different face and body, and who faced the problems of his age: finding a job, falling in love with a girl, maintaining friendships... Alex used a Toshiba Protégé equipped with Intel to tell his story through daily video diaries.

The success for these two companies was to connect with the user through social networks: In this story, the audience could interact with Álex through their Facebook page and could participate by putting a face to the character (a different face each day). Each episode was then uploaded to YouTube.

By the end of the campaign, which lasted for a month and a half, the webisodes had gone viral, reaching 60 million views worldwide, with a 97% approval rating on YouTube. And in the miniseries, it was possible to show 100 different faces for Álex.

In this infographic, we analyse 10 transmedia storytelling formats that can be useful in your digital marketing strategy:

Storytelling/digital strategy

(Source: We Are Marketing)


We Are Marketing adds this thinking when creating strategies. If you want to know the latest in transmedia storytelling, don't miss The Inbounder Global Conference 2018 next April 25 and 26 in Madrid. Prestigious keynote speakers from around the world will discuss the latest trends in content marketing, storytelling and many more areas of digital marketing, such as SEO, social media and CRM, among others.


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