Narrative and transmedia branding: storytelling in Macy’s Inc. Believe Christmas campaign
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 20:48 authored by Joyce Shau Chun Wong
Transmedia storytelling techniques have been primarily used by the entertainment industry but have also been applied to the advertising campaigns designed by corporations, a concept known as transmedia branding. Transmedia storytelling requires a narrative to be told over a range of mediums with each working within its own capabilities of communication and interactivity. Meanwhile an all-encompassing storyline is created to keep all the threads within the same story world. The aim of this study is to demonstrate how the narrative potential of campaigns specifically created via transmedia branding techniques is changing the way stories are being communicated and consumed. Previous studies in the use of transmedia branding have concentrated on their effectiveness as an advertising campaign while an analysis of the narrative techniques being employed was missing. Narrative studies into transmedia use have tended to focus on movies or television series that already have an inherent created story world. A critical qualitative analysis has been applied to Macy Inc.’s Believe Christmas campaign to determine how they have created and maintained a nine-year evolving story world across multiple mediums. The study shows how the complexity of audience interactivity challenges the basic narrative concepts of story organisation, presentation and coherence. Discourse and visual analysis was also applied to user responses to discover how and whether they have understood and interpreted the story world being presented to them.