News Reel & Blog

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TRANSMEDIA STORYTELLING

Written by Jack Hopkins on 3rd January 2018

It is becoming more apparent that content that can be morphed and delivered across multiple platforms is the key to remaining current. This week’s blog entry is going to take a glance at the effectiveness of telling a continuous story over multiple platforms by looking at how the ever-changing character of Alan Partridge is still as popular as ever.

Transmedia storytelling in its purist form can be seen through the techniques of Walt Disney, creating and exploiting capitalism to expose brands through films and merchandising. Storytelling needs to utilise a human element for it to evoke the right emotions to create a connection. The human aspect of the portrayal of many Disney characters helps establish an emotive relationship, much like the ultra-realistic portrayal of the North-Norfolk Radio Disc Jockey, Alan Partridge.

The key to Alan Partridge’s success over the last 25 years is the fact that his characterisation is so deep that he can be moulded to suit the societal climate he finds himself in. His creators have been able to morph Alan and his career path to continue his story across audiobooks, radio and television shows, films, documentaries and mockumentaries. This makes his story completely immersive as they place Alan in various everyday environments. He has hosted and appeared on genuine talk shows and attended book signings and film premieres, further blurring the line between reality and fiction.

Although Alan’s narrative is a continuous one, the divide between platforms allows followers to dip in and out of his story at their own pleasure. Those who enjoy reading can delve into his autobiographies, or those that enjoy sitcom-length comedic episodes can enjoy an episode of his radio show, Mid-morning Matters. This not only broadens the viewership of the content but it also remains attractive to people of all ages as it’s an established character exploring the contemporary world. The fluidity of the narrative has also allowed the character’s story to be shown on various broadcasters. Sky and BBC are the most prominent collaborators, both complimenting the direction his creators want to take him in – explaining why he still remains such a British comedy icon and continues to achieve huge audiences.  

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