There is a big difference in the way consumer brands use transmedia compaired toentertainment brands.
Consumer brands are not stories, so they tend to use ARG’s. Brands can employ transmedia tactics in less immersive ways, indeed, this is where consumer brands will need to look more closely to build out effective multi-modal, transmedia identities for themselves.
For example coca cola have been using the transmedia approach with the happiness factory, they have created a rich brand world around the idea that their vending machines have a whole world existing within them, with different games, characters who have different jobs within the world including various interviews etc. The campaign has seen the production of all the usual campaign activity: a website, some TV ads, etc, but also things like a co-created music track.
Brands themselves now need to become multi-modal, that is to say, more multifarious and flexible in their identities – in how they portray themselves, in order to remain relevant and accessible to an increasingly differentiated audience.
BMW’s The Hire was lauded for its embrace of online marketing and branded content. Through extensive consumer research, they found that their typical customer was 46 years old, with a median income of about $150,000 (USD). Two-thirds were male, married, and had no children. Delving deeper, they discovered this nugget: 85% of BMW purchasers use the internet before purchasing.
On April 26, 2001, the now defunct bmwfilms.com launches with a series of short films available for viewing. Clive Owen plays the driver, a man who goes from place to place in a BMW, getting hired by various people to be a sort of transport for their vital needs. Along with Ambush, four other short films were released in 2001