The Beast and Bees are 42

The Cloudmakers have been anticipating a Beast-like advertising campaign as the Halo 2 launch drew closer. A post to their email list has confirmed that a site: I Love Bees has the same Beast crew and researcher Jane McGonigal on board. There has been plenty of bee activity it seems on sites like unfiction; an archive of the events during the campaign tells all (if you can figure it out!).

The Beast team have their own company, offering their services creating and producing what they term ‘search operas’ in 4orty 2wo Entertainment

We tell our stories in the form of “search operas” — narratives that spill off the page, the screen, the web, the phone–and into peoples’ lives. We don’t send an advertising message into the maelstrom of other competing messages: we reverse-engineer the process, so that the consumer comes looking for our campaign and our client’s product. We create communities passionately committed to spending not just their money but their imaginations in the worlds we represent.

This form of storytelling or game play — otherwise known as ‘pervasive play’, ‘unfiction’, ‘alternate reality gaming’ — is a model of cross media storytelling. I don’t find it a surprise that they do so well considering their emphasis on the consumer’s ‘imagination’ and the description of it being a ‘narrative’. This is just my point about how GOOD cross media design needs to be story and storyworld driven. But more about this in my paper for IST.

IST Crossmedia Session

Monique De Haas is co-ordinating a session on cross media at the European Information Society Technologies (IST) event in The Hague on the 15th of November.

This session will feature presentations from opinion leaders on crossmedia communication followed by a round-table discussion aimed at further defining the subject. The discussion will consider three future scenarioÂ’s based on low, medium and high acceptance and diffusion of the crossmedia communication possibilities mentioned by the speakers. The aim is to produce a paper with an overview of crossmedia communication mechanisms, rules and/or best practices. This will provide a sound base for future crossmedia initiatives, especially ones where small innovative businesses may work with large established companies.

The session, ‘Crossmedia communication in the dynamic knowledge society‘, is a great idea and I will be contributing long-distance.
More about this soon…

X (that’s ‘cross’) Media Lab

The day before the X Media Lab Professional Day Conference ‘Brave New Media World’ my uni held a joint symposium with two of the XML speakers. GARY HAYES, (former Head of BBC’s Internet, Interactive TV and Emerging Platforms) and MARK OLLILA (Telegames) gave talks and then listened to Melb. Uni research. I was asked to present and so of course I did! I’m happy to report that both Gary and Mark were thrilled that I was working on cross media and were very keen to find out more about my research. It’s good to know you’re on the ball.

After that high I attended the conference and discovered some interesting projects that have been produced around the world.

X|Media|Lab (“cross media lab”) is Australia’s most prestigious new media conference and masterclass for creative, business, and technology professionals in the new media industries.

The X|Media|Lab is a unique creative, business, and technology masterclass for people with great ideas for developing commercial new media properties across all new media platforms: broadband and the internet, digital television, computer games, and mobile communications.

It seems everyone is discussing and working to produce cross media (especially in the advertising industry) but many concentrate on the transportability of content over media rather than storytelling. Monique De Haas is doing an excellent job, however, in giving quantifiable reasons for pursuing cross media narrative for the advertising industry.

I was surprised in the lack of understanding of cross media design but this encouraged me. In consequence I’m working on ‘blunt pencil notes’ and will pop them up for discussion soon…

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