Transmedia in Cannes – Three Wishes

It’s that time of the year again. Time for us northerners to stop despairing just because Winter Is Coming, and jump on a plane for a week of frenzy on the Riviera. It’s MIPCOM time (and MIPJunior as well, of course) and this year it looks to be more interesting for me than ever before. Partly this has something to do with us bringing some pretty neat stuff to the market and having meetings lined up no end. Partly it’s because I will get to meet some fabulous people again, and doubtlessly meet some new interesting ones as well. But mostly it’s because the times they are a-changing.

The latest study from Red Bee Media states that 86% of smart device users are now dual-screening when taking part of series like ”The Walking Dead”. If there has ever been a question of ”why should we think multiplatform”, that question is surely moot by now. Now, I’m no fanatic, and I do not believe everything ever created from now onwards should go transmedia. But I do believe that everyone who creates something intended for a mass audience need to take a look at their creation and make the informed and conscious decision NOT to go multiplatform and/or transmedia, and be able to defend that decision to themselves and to other stakeholders in the IP. This, in stark contrast to the situation only a couple of years ago.

Byzantium Security, the campaign for the TV series “Hunted”

There are very many other encouraging signs as well. Just a couple of examples, from the world of television: the transmedia campaign for the tv series ”Hunted” has been simply brilliant, where once again the agency Campfire delivers (here’s a case study over at ARG Net). 4th Wall Studios picked up a well deserved Emmy for their work with Dirty Work and their Rides.tv engine – which in a sense maybe isn’t stricly TV, but TV enough to convince the Emmys, so I wouldn’t  argue even if I’d feel like I’d want to (which I don’t). People are thinking of and creating for interactivity all over the world and it’s infinitely encouraging to see.

So, with all these encouraging signs, I’m anxious not to get greedy. In Swedish the saying is that “the one who wants to have a lot is often left with nothing”. Still, if there was something I would wish for, for this week in Cannes, it’d be these three things:

  • Openness. I know people are scared of being ripped off and having their brilliant ideas stolen. I know I’ve been scared of that too. I know I’ve had ideas that I just haven’t told anyone, not even the persons who might’ve needed them, just so as not to lose out. I think that time is over now; give and you shall receive, I believe someone important said some time ago. Give your opinion and your feedback and your ideas and your thoughts! I could bet my hat (if I had one) that you’ll turn a profit in the end. (unless you’ve signed an NDA of course, then you just keep really quiet and try to dodge the lawyers :)
  • Curiosity. At a place like MIPCOM a lot of people are set in their ways. It’s been done one way for decades, so why change now? I would hope for everyone to nurture a healthy streak of curiosity; we’re all on a really steep learning curve right now, and the best way to learn is to learn together. I mean, that guy next to you in the queue to that little panini joint on the Croisette, why don’t you just ask him what he’s doing, the next time you stand there? You might just learn something!
  • Excitedness. I’m not even sure that is a word, but if it isn’t, it should be. I mean, just think about it. We’re on the verge of creating stuff that’s never been created before, with audience interaction possibilities that no one could’ve dreamt of 15 years ago! We’ll be making a lot of mistakes, learn from them, and create miles and miles and minutes and minutes and gigabytes and gigabytes of wonderful, exciting, engaging, exhilirating content. It’s going to be bloody awesome, and could we fathom just how awesome it’s going to be, we would all stop what we’re doing, jump onto the nearest table and scream. (preferrably when in secluded areas though, as I heard it’s pretty hard to break out of asylums and you might miss the MIP week if you’re not careful). Jokes aside, these are pretty awesome times to be living if you’re creating content. Allow yourself to be excited about that!

With that, I wish everyone attending MIP a very wonderful week. Hope to meet you all at some point!

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