Examples of Transmedia and Cross-Platform Storytelling – Books, Blogs, Film, Marketing and Awareness Initiatives

  • by Sparrow
  • June 13th, 2012
Sparrow Hall, Mike Knowlton, Heather Taylor and Sean Wreckwerdt - Transmedia Panel - BlogWorld 2012

Dropping knowledge at BlogWorld 2012 with Mike Knowlton, Heather Taylor and Sean Wreckwerdt

Sparrow Hall’s Transmedia & Cross-Platform Storytelling Shortlist
Last week, I spoke on the Transmedia panel at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo in NYC. I was joined by Mike Knowlton, Heather Taylor, Sean Wreckwerd, and our moderator Aparna Mukherjee of The Wall Street Journal. The audience consisted of fellow speakers and top bloggers interested in telling their stories through multiple mediums. Below is a list of my favorite transmedia and cross-platform stories (books, movies, blogs and more) that I put together for the conference.

BOOKS

Two Blue Wolves & Nightwork / Sparrow Hall
Expanding the book experience by having the story unfold across multiple mediums, through various perspectives. The two short stories include music, video, art, live performance, and web-specific content developed by a cadre of artists from around the world.
Preview & Details >

House of Leaves / Mark Z. Danielewski
One of the pioneering cross-platform books of the 1990s. Portions of the manuscript were available on various sites around the Web, hyperlinked to one another. The author’s sister, the singer/songwriter Poe, recorded the album Haunted as an extension of the novel, featuring tracks like “House of Leaves”, “Exploration B” and “5&½ Minute Hallway.”
Wikipedia >
Amazon >

The Survivors – Immersedition / Amanda Harvard
An interactive e-book that allows readers to dive deeper into the history and mythology of the story world. The book includes a soundtrack of thematic songs curated around the story.
Official Site >

MOVIES

Peter Weyland at TED2023 / A co-branded immersive storytelling collaboration between TED and the upcoming film, Prometheus, by Ridley Scott

Prometheus / Ridley Scott
A prequel to the Alien saga, the film utilizes a number of transmedia marketing and storytelling tactics, including a co-branded video with TED that takes place in the year 2023, and an online video that introduces the cyborg David, one of the central characters in the film.
Co-Branded Transmedia Campaign with TED >
Supplemental Story Element – “Happy Birthday David” >

Sound of My Voice / Zal Batmanglij & Brit Marling
One of my favorite films of the year is one of my favorite case studies as well. The first 15 minutes is available for free on the film’s official site. Clickable elements allow you to pause the storyline and dive into additional content, supplemental videos, and enigmatic links that build the mystery around the storyline.
Case Study >
Official Site & First 15 Minutes with Interactive Video Elements >

Trainspotting / Danny Boyle & Irvine Welsh
This could be classified as a case of cross-platform-storytelling-as-a-happy-accident. The experience I had with Trainspotting, unwrapping the story through multiple touch points (film, soundtrack, novel, etc.), inspired me to create my first transmedia book, “Two Blue Wolves.”
Case Study >

BRANDS

Transmedia Marketing and Branded Entertainment - Motorola and RED - Sparrow Hall

Motorola & Product RED / Sparrow Hall & DRAFTFCB
The Motorola & Product (RED)™ initiative is one of the first cross-platform/branded entertainment campaigns I worked on. To maximize the campaign’s reach, our team developed a year-long rollout of original content from around the world, including exclusive music and media downloads, videos, live events, and a rich online experience telling the story of RED and the people it’s helping.
Case Study >

NON-PROFITS / AWARENESS INITIATIVES

#18DaysInEgypt / Jigar Mehta & Yasmin Elayat
The revolution in Egypt was told through a myriad of mediums – Tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube and cell phone videos, blog posts, international press, photo journalists, and various first hand accounts. #18DaysInEgypt recaptures the power of that story in its original kaleidoscopic form.
Official Site >

BLOGS

Bangable Dudes in History - A blog by Megan B.

Bangable Dudes in History - A blog by Megan B.

Bangable Dudes in History / Megan B.
I love the use of pie charts as a storytelling device.
Blog >

Nerd Boyfriend / Roxana Altamirano
The stories of sexy nerds told through their fashion choices. I love the e-commerce element.
Blog >

ALLOVR / Zachary Allott
Songs paired with unrelated photographs. Each makes for it’s own story.
Blog >

The Day After You Die / Unknown
A blog devoid of text. The name sets up the premise. The photographs become a dreamlike sequence of events that happen the day after you die.
Blog >

Hollister Hovey / Hollister Hovey
Stories told through vintage objects, photography, and re-discovered histories.
Blog >

Sparrow Hall / Sparrow Hall
I pick and choose mediums based on the story I’m telling, or to validate a point. My hope is that the combination of text, photography, videos, music, and linked content will make for a richer reading experience, allowing people to absorb the material whichever way they choose.
Blog >

Header photo by Shashi Bellamkonda

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