Knowledge@Wharton recently sat down with Andrea Phillips in New York City to discuss the evolution of transmedia storytelling and how these narrative techniques are being used to engage consumers and find new ways to market everything from movies to consumer products.
Knowledge@Wharton: Let's start with a definition: What is transmedia storytelling?
Andrea Phillips: I've been sticking with [University of Southern California professor] Henry Jenkins' definition, which boils down to: one story over multiple media where each makes a unique contribution.
Knowledge@Wharton: Can you give a few examples?
Phillips: Star Wars, for example, is a hugely successful franchise [that is also] transmedia, because different parts of that universe are shown in separate works [each of which provides] a unique contribution. For example, in the films, you see Han Solo and Princess Leia fall in love. But if you switch over to the books, then you know that they ultimately get married and have twin babies. You see a broader picture of the same narrative if you consume multiple pieces of media in that universe....