Transmedia storytelling – the technique of telling stories across multiple platforms and formats is not a new concept. Take a look at “Star Wars,” for example. An American space opera film series created in 1977 quickly exploded across the media universe from films and books to comic books, games, character figurines and more. The same thing happened with Pokemon. Created in 1996, the video game has expanded into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books and a television show.
Digital and social media has provided new platforms and opportunities for transmedia storytelling, and today’s session with Bravo’s Andy Cohen and “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio showed how it was used by “Top Chef” to create a newer, deeper, more interesting engagement level with the audience.
When the contestants on this past season’s “Top Chef” got eliminated, they discovered that instead of going back home, they joined the Last Chance Kitchen, an online series that would earn one eliminated chef the opportunity to get back on the show and compete for the “Top Chef” title. Fans were given an opportunity not only to get to know the contestants a whole lot better, but also vote for their Fan Favorite and help them win a special bonus price. Bravo also encouraged the chefs to tweet and engage via social media and in one of the episodes, it was the Twitter followers who decided on the secret ingredient of a quick fire challenge.
Last Chance Kitchen has transformed “Top Chef: from a ‘one night per week’ to a ‘7 day a week engaging multidimensional experience’. ROI? Expected 1 million streams turned to more than 8 million streams and made it the most streamed series at NBCU ever!
Next in transmedia for Bravo? Content co-creation with the fans and I tell you, I am very much looking forward to that one.