advertising, engaging, planning

TV and Online – Forever Frenemies

in a post on The Black Box Fallacy, in which I referenced Transmedia storytelling, I concluded by noting that;

‘whats going to be fun is to see to what extent commercial advertisers
use transmedia storytelling.  at the moment a campaign idea tends to be
executed across different channels.  there’s little consideration given
to how what is produced can be contextualised from the off.  and
there’s massive opportunity for the advertisers – and indeed the
agencies – that learn how to do this best first’

I recalled this whilst watching two recent examples of advertising campaigns.  both of which are pieces of communication with two very different expressions in TV and Online channels.  in both cases TV merely provides the precursor, the call to action being to go online…


the first is for Army Jobs, where a series of video clips show different aspects of Army life.  in each example the execution is cut short – the ending… is to be found online.

here you not only get to view all the video’s in a dedicated player, but can also – by addressing a series of questions in the Pathfinder – identify which aspects of Army life would be most appropriate for you.

it’s all very slick and involving, making the visit from the TV execution more than worth the effort, whether you’re interested in a life in the Army or just curious to see how the stories end.

the second example is beyond surreal…

yup.  it’s the R&D team who developed the Peanut Chunky inviting you to punish them if you don’t like what they’ve come up with.  whether you did or didn’t like it is irrelevant, as when you get to the website you’re given the option to punish them or…  punish them…


another very slick online experience not only shows you what happens when the staff are inflicted to a cactus bath or lobster down the pants.  but in an added trick some of the juiciest content is locked.  you unlock it by sending video clips to friends…


the most interesting thing about both of these campaigns is that the online content could have quite happily existed without the presence of a TV ad.  but TV brought efficient mass reach – as well as a wealth of credibility – to the invite to engage with both of these brands.

both channels benefit hugely from the other.  at it’s most basic, if either brand schedule had prioritised one channel over the other (or sacrificed a large chunk of the budget in one channel to do a broadcast job in the other!) it wouldn’t have worked.  but more importantly it shows integration within or across creative agencies that will be not just beneficial but crucial in the future implementation of digital (across all channels) media schedules.

is it Transmedia storytelling?  no… that would require different and dedicated content across different and dedicated channels bringing a concept to life in very different and relevant ways.  but its two big and very slick steps in the right direction.


One thought on “TV and Online – Forever Frenemies

  1. First of all, thanks for referencing me as the source in your latest post 😉
    Secondly, would transmedia storytelling have elicited a more effective campaign in this, or in fact, any case?
    The concept of telling stories that are adapted and tailored to the channels that are used to communicate with consumers makes sense.
    However, is there not a danger in ploughing down this road as it assumes people consume different media in vastly different ways?
    People are still people and although they do behave differently when interacting with different media, surely the trends towards a converged world will increasingly make these differences irrelevant? We now demand/expect the same amount of interactivity and functionality from our mobiles as with the internet for example.
    I agree make every effort to create bespoke, dedicated content for different media platforms, but I think there is something to be said for a great idea that sits centrally and gives some kind of cohesion to a campaign.
    Your thoughts?

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