“Transmedia” is all the rage these days. I have a better term for it: “Marketing”. “Transmedia” is just a corporate-speak term for good marketing (and was actually coined around 1991 or 2003, depending on which source you look at).
Marketing has always had the best chance of success when a campaign is cohesive across media types/platforms and hits potential consumers from all sides. For example, one of the better marketing campaigns I can remember was for Godzilla (the more recent version with that P. Diddy take on Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir). The outdoor campaign was brilliant - First billboard: “His foot stretches from here…” followed by a second billboard half a mile down the highway: “…to here.” - but would not be nearly as powerful without the TV commercials and print ads tying the message together.So why all the hype around “Transmedia”? It seems marketers are looking for ways to explain that digital should not be thought of as a separate entity but instead fully integrated into overall campaigns. While consumers may not differentiate between the way they interact with the physical and digital world (with the rise of mobile, they are now intertwined more than ever), marketers do need to address digital as a different channel. Understanding marketing does not necessarily mean one understands marketing on the interwebs or the digital space in general. The proliferation of mobile will require yet more differing expertise. Digital is the most recent media to evolve. Digital and non-digital marketing should combine to create a compelling story. Just like a campaign involving print and TV was “Tansmedia”, so is a campaign involving print, TV and digital. The hype around “Transmedia” may be new but the concept is not. Now, let’s all return to getting our marketing messages through to consumers in whatever way we can.