Key Is to Produce Something that Pulls People Together and Gives Them Something to Do

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by: Lynette Webb

There’s a great discussion happening online about “transmedia planning”, which some are mooting as a replacement for the ‘media-neutral planning’ concept.

I understand why it’s being called transmedia (although personally I don’t like the term), but I agree with the principles. And I disagree with people who say that it isn’t anything different from ‘media neutrality’ or ‘360 planning’. In my mind it is, because it brings to the fore an aspect of community & social/grassroots media that isn’t in its predecessor (or if it is, is buried pretty darn deep). In fact, someone somewhere (sorry I can’t find the link again) suggested that a better name for it might be “Planning 2.0”. 🙂

If you haven’t come across this discussion yet, I urge you to have a read. This is a great post to find out more. It’s by a guy at Leo Burnett in Canada. And besides the fact that it’s a great post, kudos to him for crediting his inspiration from rival agency Naked. Something that really annoys me about the agency world is how often people nick stuff without crediting the original inspirers. Maybe it’s my web sensibilities, or just simply a sense of fairplay, but I’m far more open to listening & engaging with people’s ideas when they’re upfront about their inspiration & give credit where credit is due. Anyway, I digress.

This discussion has now led to the original author & inspiration getting involved in the discussion in a series of blog posts:……

In the latter he talks about how, in a way, the discussions themselves are an example of transmedia planning, albeit inadvertant. In his words:
“As someone interested in marketing my own intellectual property, these discussions are themselves a kind of transmedia branding: after all, the more people talk about my book, the more people are likely to buy it. I don’t have to control the conversation to benefit from their interest in my product. The key is to produce something that both pulls people together and gives them something to do. In that regard, the book may have had greater impact on the discussions of branding because I didn’t fill in all of the links between branding and transmedia entertainment, leaving the blogosphere something to puzzle through together.”

This is the source of the quote on this slide. I really like the wording of ‘pulling people together & giving them something to do’. It’s a down-to-earth way of explaining what marketing via brand communities really means.

Image from Flickr CC thanks to Major Nelson. I think it’s from the launch of Xbox where they had a water balloon fight?