A few weeks ago, the NY Times discussed the failure of ‘Friday Night Lights’, one of best reviewed TV shows, to attract a larger audience. Virginia Heffernan explained its failure with the lack of online extensions and discusses how TV shows can’t survive without franchising:
“…in a digital age a show cannot succeed without franchising. An author’s work can no longer exist in a vacuum, independent of hardy online extensions; indeed, a vascular system that pervades the Internet. Artists must now embrace the cultural theorists’ beloved model of the rhizome and think of their work as a horizontal stem for numberless roots and shoots – as many entry and exit points as fans devise.”
She explains further:
“Without a sense of being needed or at least included, fans snub art – at least when it takes the form of prime-time TV. They won’t participate in online dialogues and events, visit message boards and chat rooms or design games. As a result, platforms for supplementary advertising aren’t built, starving even the show fans profess to love of attention, and thus money, and thus life.
As the writers’ strike has made clear, art and entertainment in the digital age are highly collaborative, and none of it can thrive without engaging audiences more actively than ever before. Fans today see themselves as doing business with television shows, movies, even books. They want to rate, review, remix. They want to make tributes and parodies, create footnotes and concordances, mess with volume and color values, talk back and shout down.”
Conversational Marketing is often misunderstood as just an opportunity to initiate conversations between people and brands. It is so much more.
Conversational Marketing can help brands to tell their stories better. Through various platforms, innovative storylines, transmedia storytelling. Trans…what?
Well, I can’t do as good a job as Henry Jenkins:
“Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story. So, for example, in The Matrix franchise, key bits of information are conveyed through three live action films, a series of animated shorts, two collections of comic book stories, and several video games. There is no one single source or ur-text where one can turn to gain all of the information needed to comprehend the Matrix universe.”
People can handle more than one idea. It’s not enough to interrupt people for seconds on TV or 5 seconds as a roadblock on a site and hoping to be able to sell your product. We need to offer more than an idea.
We have to change the paradigm from individuals reacting to the world to adopting ideas and transferring them into communities. These communities will happen around inspiring storylines: They invite you to discuss, explore, exchange, interact, engage. Yes, we want engagement. But engagement without any value for people falls flat.
‘Friday Night Lights’ developed numerous loving relationships with people. But they had nowhere to go to express their love. And so everybody moved on.