The Confluence of Marketing and Entertainment

Thought I’d share this great article from Simon Pont, published in

In the article Simon makes a case for using brands as “entry-points into story worlds.”  In effect, he is addressing a very interesting confluence between the entertainment/art community and the marketing community.

As we all know, the business models in the entertainment/art community are rapidly evolving from a tightly controlled hierarchy with regulated channels to a free-for-all where artists are going straight to the audience, and the audience is increasingly fractured and dispersed.

Likewise, marketers are trying to evolve from a disruptive voice to an integrated voice.

Removing the artificial barriers of “product placement” and “branded content” creates a landscape where creators and brands create something greater than the sum of the parts.


Click here to read his article “Where Entertainment Meets Marketing: Lessons from Kingsman, Rolex & James Bond”


Binge-viewing is transforming the television experience

Dawn C. Cheimlewski Services like Netflix and Hulu let fans watch multiple episodes or even entire seasons of shows all at once, giving life to new series such as ‘House of Cards.’

A couple of comments about this article:

1) We gotta find a better term than “binge viewing” to describe the phonomena of vwatching multiple hours of a single tv series.  We don’t call it binge reading when we read a complete book during a single week-end, it’s just reading.  And, as a life-long reader, I can testify to the fact that binge viewing provides the same satisfaction that was previously only received when reading: complete immersion in a story, a culture, a character or an event.  So, instead of binge viewing, let’s call it “immersive viewing.”

2) Immersive viewing is changing advertising.  Consumers who subscribe to a viewing service (Netflix) or buy a DVD series don’t want to be interrupted by commercials.  An obvious fact, but important to highlight because commercials are one way in which the entertainment industry generates profit on this content.  No commercials, less profit – UNLESS, “commercials” simply become part of the content.

When advertising goes from interuption to integration everyone profits:

> the audience is exposed to commercially available products or services within the context of a story that they value

> the “advertiser” reaches their audience during periods of attentiveness and concentration

> the content producers are able to make a livelihood from creating beautiful stories. 

Immersive viewing is driving the adoption of integrated advertising, which will lay the foundation for t-commerce.  And, I think it will all be here faster than we expect. 

See on

Measuring the Effectiveness of Transmedia Marketing

Today,  Adweek announced that “TubeMogul Brings Nielsen GRP Ratings to Video |  Part of push to equate TV, digital buys (see the full article here:

This announcement underlines one of the nasty realities of transmedia marketing: there is no existing framework for transmedia marketing metrics.  Ultimately, if we want to stop marketing in silos we need to stop measuring in silos.  We need the ability to determine marketing costs and marketing effectiveness holistically across all media types and platforms.

1) Determining costs across all media: the primary challenge is separating the cost of service from the cost of audience, and then creating a platform agnostic metric for “audience”.

  • The cost of service can be anything from creative services to media buying to analysis.  Transmedia marketing can spread the cost of service across multiple platforms, thereby reducing the cost of service for any single platform, but increasing the complexity of determining costs on a platform basis.
  • The cost of audience requires the ability to attribute the qualities of audience across time, distraction and interest.  An audience that that is exposed to a message for a long time with no distraction (e.g. a movie trailer in a darkened theater) is more valuable than an audience that is exposed briefly with multiple distractions (e.g., a billboard near a busy freeway).  However, you must include the power of  “interest” to provide the appropriate weighting to the calculation.  To build on the previous example: showing a movie trailer for a kids movie inside a theater preparing to show a sci-fi – slasher-thriller movie may be worth less than having a billboard for a kids movie by the freeway near Disneyland.

2) Determining effectiveness across all media.  Ultimately, effectiveness is measured by audience “actions” ranging from remembering your product thru to purchasing your product.  But the interesting measurements are those actions of “engagement” – reading, replying, playing, clicking, sharing, etc… And this is where transmedia marketing has the biggest impact: engagement.

Ultimately, it all comes down to eyeballs and actions, but I’ll save my viewpoint on the solution for another time.

Is Conan O’Brien a Transmedia Entertainer?

I think Conan O’Brien is high-larious – often laugh- out-loud, snorting thru my nose kinda stuff – and his Team Coco concept is brilliant.  The question I have is: is this transmedia entertainment?

1) If we all agree that “transmedia” is an adjective.

2) And, we all agree that “transmedia” is not the same as franchises, sequels etc… (see wikipedia’s def of transmedia):  Transmedia storytelling (also known as Multiplatform Storytelling) is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies, not to be confused with traditional cross-platform media franchises,[1] sequels or adaptations.

3) Then we apply these concepts to Conan’s entertaining universe: Conan provides a single entertaining experience across multiple formats and platforms (see examples below)

Old Media

New Media
  • Web: – includes behind the scene and other content not found any other place
Social Media / Games
  • Very active on twitter & facebook – both broadcasting and responding
  • He hasn’t created an ARG or developed a “studio” zynga’s castleville

Then, can we agree that Conan is a transmedia entertainer?

Potential Implications of Transmedia on Marketing Organizations

The implications of transmedia in education and entertainment are in the process of being explored, experimented with and critiqued.  I think we’ve just begun to explore the implications on business and marketing practices.

There are three major forces colliding within most marketing organizations: BIG data (it begs to be said in caps), marketing technology and media fragmentation.

Transmedia helps to solve the the problems associated with media fragmentation by providing a cohesive narration that is optimized/developed for each media space.  Big data and marketing technology provide the infrastructure to ensure targeted and timely delivery and mapping the value back to marketing ROI.  Each system works together, but the skills required for each system are generally VERY different: creative vs analytical vs systems/process thinking 

Marketing departments in big companies (may) be able to functionally support these systems. But smaller companies will need to outsource.  This leads to the question – which should you outsource vs which should you own?    Will a marketing eco-system develop where specialists in these systems work on a for-hire basis, and the business marketing departments simply work as marketing project managers?  And if so, do they start calling themselves marketing producers?

Lots of questions.  Please discuss 🙂


Game of Thrones Transmedia Case Study – PT 1: The Essence

Although this video does a great job describing/demonstrating/promoting the transmedia campaign.  I found the following excerpt to be the most enlightening on HOW this was done:

“The first task was to try to reduce the story to its essence—no small task for a series with 19 main characters and dozens of supporting characters from seven royal and noble families and a half-dozen other groups. He managed to get it down to “the power struggles and secret liaisons of dynastic families vying for control of a mythical kingdom”—not quite as pithy as The Sopranos in Middle Earth,” which is how one of the screenwriters described it, but still not bad.”

Reducing the story to it’s essence …

This holds true in all transmedia marketing exercises – reduce the story, the value proposition, the brand promise the … whatever … to it’s essence.

Is Transmedia Marketing Just Another Marketing Discipline?

I love this blog regarding marketing disciplines:  The blogger – Anthony – categorizes and defines 10 marketing disciplines (e.g., social media marketing, email marketing, etc…)  

I appreciate his pithy definitions and basically agree with his view of these activities as “disciplines” which leads to the obvious question: is transmedia marketing another marketing discipline?

The answer is “no, unh-un, not a chance”

Transmedia marketing is a philosophy (view or theory) that unifies and creates the underlying framework that enables the addition and rapid iteration of new marketing disciplines: marketing strategy, organizational structure, operational workflows and marketing metrics. 

To think of transmedia marketing as just another discipline misses the point of calling it “trans” – meaning it goes across all media.  Transmedia marketing is about breaking down the silos, not adding another one.