We are really thinking a lot about Barbie these days! Why is there so much talk? After all she can fly, cook, swim, surf, pretend, work, teach, lead, skate, dress up, design, and so much more. What more do we want from this doll? I say, “let girls play!” It’s OK to be young, free, full of imagination AND to like shoes.
By now you should have heard of the term “transmedia”, the definition of which seems to vary from industry to industry. For us, the veteran girl experience designers at Nena Media, transmedia is telling stories across forms, each form making up an essential but different part of the whole story. We are form agnostic as those are sure to change with time and technology. Today the challenge is covering an ever-widening array of forms and doing it all simultaneously. These forms, like social media, fashion, books, music, games and movies are at the heart of where girls hangout. Any way you define it, we know that building brands for girls means stories must have meaning in their lives beyond the screen and be able to seamlessly move into multiple experiences that feel natural and authentic, not stretched or plastic. It’s like connecting the dots in a four dimensional story matrix. A story can be defined as the fairytale or it can be the backstory of the person telling it. It’s the Teller and the Tale. Both are relevant to our audience. Whether playing or dreaming, girls love the who-what-when-where because they aspire to be all that and more. Modern storytellers often find themselves needing to weave together reality and fantasy while keeping an audience willing to go either way. While transmedia storytellers must work in multiple dimensions compelling their audiences to re-engage for each part, if done right, transmedia stories can end up like good friends: always there for you, in different ways, and just in time.