We’re living in an age of convergence and disruption, and one of the things being heavily disrupted is the passive role of the consumer to receive an ad message. It’s dead easy to simply ignore, block, filter ads at this point. So in order to thrive, advertisers have to go into the culture-making business — making original content that is so compelling that audiences seek it out.
One way to do that is overt storytelling — something far beyond a bunch of beautiful people sizing each other up around a pool to sell alcohol. There’s no narrative tension there. But there is some flat-out amazing storytelling in advertising already. There’s a powerful Nike ad going around right now, basically about a fat kid running, and it’s incredibly inspiring. That’s the right direction. Building on an emotional dynamic to tell a story that makes people feel and seek out more, that’s what transmedia is all about.