All advertisers strive to produce great work that goes beyond selling and becomes viral entertainment that consumers talk about for weeks. But then what?

Many have gotten into the habit of cranking out one campaign after the other, without too much diversity in-between. But in the pursuit of staying fresh, they lose the longevity of their brand identity.

This is where Transmedia storytelling comes into play.


source: Wise Geek

Transmedia storytelling is simply defined as “telling a story across multiple media” and thrives off audience engagement. Different media forms work together to create a larger, more engaging story that immerses the consumer in the brand.


Traditionally, media franchises (like Harry Potter and Star Wars) have brought this technique to life by building off the original content with related games, toys, theme parks, etc. This results in a natural build of brand awareness and loyalty.


Perhaps the best example of a brand using transmedia storytelling happened in 2008 when car insurance company Progressive brought out Flo, the quirky saleswoman who has since become the face of the brand.


Over the last nine years, Flo has appeared in over 100 commercials, has her own bobble head, a Halloween costume, and even has a role in the racing video game ModNation Racers.

Flo’s ability to transcend traditional marketing mediums has helped Progressive appeal to the elusive younger audience.





Melbourne Metro

PSAs have a bad reputation. So when Melbourne Metro had to release a PSA for train safety, they seized the opportunity to break the monotony usually associated with PSAs by using transmedia storytelling.

The campaign started with a catchy jingle but has since expanded to an iPhone game, plush toys, and figurines.




When executed well, transmedia storytelling can extend the lifetime of a campaign and strengthen brand identity.

BREAKING NEWS … or is it?

If you’re a regular on social media, you’ve likely seen the recent flood of alerts cautioning consumers to beware of “Fake News”. While news parody websites like The Onion and Clickhole are upfront about their satirical content, this other unfortunate trend appears to exist purely for clickbait on websites claiming to be authentic.


Advertisers and consumers alike need to be aware of the fake news circulating online, but it can be tricky to spot.

Fake News’ Impact on Brands

But the landscape of your newsfeed is not the only thing impacted by fake news. This is the first time in history that billion-dollar corporations are sharing blatantly incorrect information without being held accountable for it.

 fake facebook news can't see the difference between real and fake news

These “articles” have hurt brand reputations when a company’s remarks are spun into false statements. For example, Pepsi experienced the perils of fake news when the CEO made a statement about employees’ reactions to the 2016 election results. The innocent comment led to a lot of people boycotting the brand.
fake pepsi story screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-1-56-17-pm


Pepsi isn’t the only one who has fallen at the hand of fake news. New Balance was targeted by a white supremacists news site, dubbing the company as the “official shoes of White people”.

fake news on new balance

As advertisers, we can help mitigate this flood of false information by publishing brand-honest content on responsible platforms. While there is no easy way to extinguish the wildfire that is fake news, advertisers must focus on reporting honest and reliable information about its brands and influencers.