Talk of television’s demise has circled since the Internet gained prominence in the late 90s. The truth is, there will always be an appetite for good storytelling, and the television will remain a compelling medium for immersing ourselves in those stories. But, as we’re all aware, it will not be the only medium where we can be entertained, informed and immersed in an experience.
As the ubiquity of the mobile experience evolves, the opportunity to bring more immersive experiences to more places and mediums becomes more viable. You can argue that watching a full-length movie created for the big screen on the small screen of a mobile device isn’t ideal, and most would agree. But, the point here is less about the ability of content to transition from one medium to the next than it is in the expansion of opportunities to extend experiences and adapt a story line that can connect in context beyond the single platform, single format approach of old models. This opens up the possibility to rethink production, creative and story development in a way that can transcend intended context and create a more cohesive experience.
Brands will soon look for ways to extend the experience beyond the flatscreen and onto the mobile screen. The consumable, short format of the mobile device and brief attention of the mobile context offer opportunities for brands to extend an experience and connect with consumers. This trend will continue as the intersection of social TV gets more defined.
There are several opportunities for brands to get involved in this highly consumable story telling. At the center of a brand’s approach must be an understanding of the passion areas that drive its consumers and where the brand intersects or enhances those passions.
- Create a mini-episode for FB, bringing fans into an extension of the brand’s passion areas (Camping with a S’more – “Ghost Stories”)
- Extend the story from advertising within television shows to the web/mobile (A Day in the Digital Life of a Reese’s Cup – Commercial Shoot Behind the Scenes)
- Crowdsource and select clips offerd by those passionate about the brand (Pedal Passions – Driving a Camero)
- Create a reality-based series based on recurring events the brand supports (The Cullinary Cozumel – Recipes from Starwood Resorts; Storm Front – Weather-related Documentary from State Farm)
Understanding how content is discovered, consumed and shared in the connected context offers guidposts to making the experience engaging.
- Content Quality – a qualitative measure that’s less about the quality of production and more about the ability to capture and retain attention through good storytelling
- Duration – the amount of time it takes to capture and retain attention, directly related to the places online and off the story will be told
- Connectivity – difficult to assess, but an understanding of the connection speeds and coverage areas for where the content will be consumed is fundamental to creating a positive experience for the consumer
- Context – where, when and how the content might be consumed determined by the pathway the audience will find and experience the story
- Planning – often these can be extensions of an existing program with the right planning; build in as an extension of the creative brief, plan for capturing experiences around existing events, etc.
Australian producer Russell Boyd recently launched his take on the evolution of the short-form series designed specifically for the iPad, showing how new distribution models will impact the content industry.
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