Wednesday, October 27, 2010

godzilla '56 part 2 #transmedia rock'n'roll mystery

Regular readers will recall that I posted one side of the great lost Godzilla '56 45rpm 'Freeze Frame Baby' back in February.

The B-side '(1-2-3) Come on Baby (Let's Go)'- note use of double brackets - still remains lost unfortunately, however some promo photographs from the same period - circa '88 - did surface this week.

This rare pic features the (almost) full and definitive line-up.

From left to right:
Surfboy Carter - Fuzz Guitar
Smeg - Space Drums
Neil Rocker - Vox
DJ Elvis - Twangy Guitar

Not pictured is Producer and unofficial 5th member Cowman BassRobot, who is currently busy relaunching Bellboy Records.

music management in the new digital world

Finding and launching a new band today on the internet couldn't be easier.
Just follow the simple steps outlined in this clip by Peter Malkin.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I got 99 problems but #transmedia storytelling aint one

Jay-Z and Bing have collaborated to turn the corporate rapper's book launch into a nice bit of transmedia gameification, under the guidance of Droga5 New York.

According to the official Jay-Z website:

'Every single page of JAY-Z’s book will be released to the public before the book is in stores, with pages physically placed in locations related to their specific content. The immersive journey will take players from the projects in the Brooklyn neighborhood where JAY-Z grew up and the London streets where he found inspiration, to the building of his empire in Manhattan and beyond. Fans physically in those locations and those playing online with Bing will be offered never-before-experienced insights into JAY-Z’s highly personal process. In addition to high profile media placements around the world, DECODED‘S three hundred pages will be appearing in places and on objects that have never before been used as advertising. From pools and pool tables to bronze plaques and high-fashion clothing racks; a variety of unexpected surfaces will become the canvas for JAY-Z’s art.'

Point to

Immersive, extractable, spreadable, drillable, playable, virtual, real-world, connecting with fans. You have to say it's got the lot.

Note: Jay-Z fans will have to be arsed to install Silverlight and use Bing, of course.

HT to Tommy.

Monday, October 18, 2010

focus on the quality of your storytelling

Couple of good nuggets from Tom Peters for you.
All conveyed in a punchy 1min 55secs, almost like a classic Buzzcocks 45rpm of business juice...

The story is more powerful than the brand.
The best story wins.
Focus on the quality of your storytelling.

HT and finders fee to wethinkthis.

walk your talk

I almost gave full marks to Subaru for this very funny, if somewhat arch, 'launch' of the 2011 Mediocrity Sedan.
'Finally, a car that feels like every other sedan on the road'.

Including the ubiquitous customisation/personalisation tool...
'Do you like glove compartments? And cup holders? Customize your 2011 Mediocrity with this handy tool. You select the options and we’ll price it out for you in “real time.”

The community (ghost town) feature...
'Join fellow Mediocrity fans and friends on all your favorite social networking sites. If you’ve got nothing exciting to say, we’d love to hear it.


Follow the click through to the ‘real’ Subaru site - the supposed antithesis - and the experience can only be described as.......a bit mediocre.

Just like any other Sedan microsite, in fact.

The danger when pointing the finger is that there are three of your fingers pointing back at you.

Better be sure you can walk your talk.

Close, but no cigar I’m afraid

Friday, October 15, 2010

building an online character

Following yesterdays post, it's worth looking at this case study from Marcus around how he created and executed the Jack character. Something needs to work small if it's going to work big, Jack nails and scales.Building an Online Character

Thursday, October 14, 2010

auf wiedersehen #transmedia pet

The word 'transmedia' sounds science-fiction in itself. Immediate associations with The Matrix and suchlike, understandable in as much as the term was coined in the Henry Jenkins book Convergence Culture with the aforementioned franchise as a key example.

It's taken me a while to fully get my head around this (I'm still working on it) from a marketing/advertising perspective, particularly on how it could play out for less cool or sexy early adopter type of brands.

What on earth does transmedia storytelling look like for dogfood?

But, suppose I was, say, a workwear brand looking for a way to connect with customers and fans, and had bitten the bullet of branded 'content' being something that would deliver relevance, context and branding?

Also suppose, if you can, that the much-loved UK comedy/drama series 'Auf Wiedersehen Pet' had never been written, and was invented by said workwear brand as a piece of branded content and story 'spark'?

The workwear products are integral to the content, obviously, and feature throughout in classic product placement/branded content style.

A very simple example of the principles of transmedia storytelling in practical application, easily achievable in an unlikely category might look something like this.

A weekly video podcast episode distributed via itunes, and a dedicated YouTube channel, while also embedded in the story hub website and on the Facebook fan page.

This distribution strategy giving the opportunity for the 'audience' to subscribe, watch, comment and share on a basic level of (mostly) passive consumption through thechannel of their choice.

It's still a bit one-dimensional and linear though...

There's a nugget in the 37 Signals book 'ReWork' around 'by-products'.
The notion being that 'when you make something, you also make something else'.
Once that penny dropped I started to get it much more.

By-products and subplots introduces the idea of 'drillability' to compliment the spreadability.
The story contains multiple characters and subtexts. Each of these take the story off in other directions, which can be followed by niche factions within a fan group.
And, of course, multiple possible entry points for newcomers.

For example, individual twitter streams for each character, photo albums, playlists.
Spin-off narratives and everything else.

The myriad of social technologies, through which the author-directed story plays out, also invites interaction and participation from the audience, of course.

According to the 1-9-90 law of participation in engaged communities around 1% will then create their own content based on the original story 'spark'.

In the case of 'Where are the Joneses' the Ford sponsored online sit-com from a few years ago, the 'audience' actually edited the script, locations and story threads, and appeared as extras in the episodes.

Each different delivery channel can then communicate a different story element or thread, each of these threads can make perfect sense on their own or can be pieced together by the 'audience'.

As much or as little as suits them.

Coming back to 'by-products', all this content and participation then creates the disruptive possibility that the more conventional advertising and marketing materials (tv ads, direct mail etc) can be by-products of the participatory experience itself, and therefore further rabbit-holes for entry, already loaded with context.

And so it goes.

As I was writing, this piece popped up in my reader from Edelman's Steve Rubel.

'To stand out today it’s critical that businesses create content. Activating your cadre of internal subject matter experts is the surest path to visibility. According to the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer, the public is increasingly relying on subject matter experts as trusted authorities...The reality is, however, that organizations need to do more than just unleash their subject matter experts en masse. They need to activate them in multiple channels at once and equip them in how to create a compelling narrative'

Finally, props to the fantastic Scott Walker who's been helping with my intermediate transmedia indoctrination...

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


A new word for the lexicon; scenius, reputedly coined by Brian Eno and quoted in the conversation (of which below is an excerpt) between Kevin Kelly and Steven Johnson in Wired, as they discussed their respective new books.

Johnson: Also, there’s a related myth—that innovation comes primarily from the profit motive, from the competitive pressures of a market society. If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.

Kelly: The musician Brian Eno invented a wonderful word to describe this phenomenon: scenius. We normally think of innovators as independent geniuses, but Eno’s point is that innovation comes from social scenes,from passionate and connected groups of people.

via boing boing and @anjali28

your number one research question

There are one or two fundamental, and oft overlooked questions to ask before even thinking about 'how to engage' or 'leveraging social media' or how to 'exploit' whatever new shiny object is saveur du mois.

My thanks go to @shwmackisack for kindly pointing this out in the diagram below.