I've been reading Convergence Culture by Henry Jenkins. It's
brilliant - lots of great ideas and required reading for anyone who works to drive consumers to a brand.
One form of convergence he covers is something I have been evangalizing for years -
the flow of content across multiple media platforms. The book dedicates a chapter to
The Matrix films as a cross channel narrative. The story that unfolded across different
platforms. Rather than there being a film narrative that has spin offs, key
elements of The Matrix story are in the video game, the animations, the
comic books. He argues
that few consumers will be able to dedicate the time required to get
picture, which is why cross channel or "transmedia" storytelling drives the formation of
communities - communities that share information – and triggers word of
mouth. I know this to be true as I had a hand in shaping this creative thinking.
That said, i have used the same strategy in some of my most sucessful brand efforts for Jim Beam Brands. See one of my most sucessful marketing case studies - Knob Creek for an example of this.
Since there are so many elements to the story, every member of the community is
likely to have something to share, some social currency to trade, so communities
form and information is passed around the network.
The model that has held the industry's collective imagination for the last few
years has been media neutral planning. In essence, this is the belief that we
should develop a single organising thought that iterates itself across any
touchpoint. See another explantion of this in my cross media plans / experiences was the great chase.
Want the formula? read the book.