What does it take to deliver stories that people will talk about? Always include a “Plus 1” effect

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The excitement around transmedia storytelling has been bubbling for some time now. I suspect that the premise behind it will continue to grow – which is that simple stories aren’t enough anymore, stories that allow you to have a rich experience is where the game is heading. Every story that we encounter needs that “plus 1” effect to be remembered. What I mean by “plus 1” is that you get a bit more experience value that you would not expect otherwise from the same vehicle that is delivering you a given story.

In its simplest form the “plus 1” effect is when you get served a story experience with an unexpected amplifier. A great example of this is called “Edible Cinema” from the Electric Cinema in London. The concept is “not just about eating” the theatre explains. Instead it is about “the smell, texture, even the way your mouth feels after eating. It will correspond to what’s happening on screen and heighten the viewers’ sensory experience.” The experience is rich yet simple. Audience members are given a series of numbered packages before the start of the film, each containing a different food item. At specific points during the film, large numbered placards are shown to the audience, indicating that it’s time to eat the contents of the corresponding package.”Therefore, this experience allows the story on the silver screen to be given greater richness by activating another important sense that is not commonly stimulated during movie-watching. For more information check out their website – http://www.electriccinema.co.uk/filmdetails.php?film=1933

A more elaborate example of the “plus 1” effect is the creation of artificial worlds within the real world to bring consumers into a brand experience. One of the most notorious examples was for the launch of the Dark Knight. A massive movement was created to create excitement and a ton of conversations around the core characters and factions within the film. Literally the world within the film was brought to life in the real world creating an unprecedented experience for true and fringe fans. See case study below.

A more recent example of the more elaborate “plus 1” effect is for the celebration of the Brazilian Corinthians football club. Nike decided to create the country of Corinthia. Every last detail was thought of all the way to individual passports for the fans and the travel privileges that those provide. It was utterly immersive where the fan not only celebrated the anniversary of the club, but got a chance to get a new level of intimacy not otherwise possible. So it was a truly a surprising added value experience that went well beyond the traditional fanfare and celebration of a birthday. See the video from Saatchi & Saatchi below who were the creative minds behind the campaign.

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