The Secret History of TRANSMEDIA part 1.
February 7, 2011 3 Comments
No, not really secret, but certainly not things Ive heard or seen mentioned online in all the “transmedia” blogs Ive noticed in the last few years. Since I was doing work like this with others for over 20 years now, both pre and post ” web”, I thought Id bang out some thoughts and projects and people who I look at as pioneering “modern electric media” as I look at it, as “transmedia”. Ill make a few of these posts in the future for all to comment on.
Lets talk Disney. To my way of thinking about transmedia, and it’s 360 reach, I would say that the “MICKEY MOUSE CLUB” was the first TRUE transmedia Disney produced. Although Davey Crockett and Daniel Boone had major TV hits, the “toy” craze for hats and popguns only came after. The earlier Disney Films or toons all truly only had “hot traditional licensed merchandizing” around them as well. And each films/cartoons characters reach was only as good as the films box office or a single characters success with an audience.
But the MICKEY MOUSE CLUB, then followed by THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY for nightime family viewers.. seems to me to be the forgotton birth of the “world design” needed for a true transmedia ip. The “Clubhouse” and its “kids” and “adult” supervisors were the core mechanism to “open ended” adventures and stories and product selling. Each week “new storyworlds” were test marketed, and new franchise brands offered. New products and clothing show off by the kids, new music and songs sung, new celebrities made as they grew up…lets not forget that this formula didnt just give us Annette Funicello(who” sounds off the digerarti?)– uh… well Disney later gave us britney, justin, and christina using the same methods of transmedia again in the 90s when they went to a full on network on cable.
The show hilighted original animation, short films, as well as being one of the earliest “electric teachers” of pop morality for a generation. Everything about the CLUB, including the “mail in” fan structure, cereals, and free club gifts, was designed to market DISNEY and lead to the DISNEYLAND that soon would be built, to complete the mediation and take his media into reality. We all know how the rest goes. World Mouse Domination by the turn of the century.;)
So, The Mickey Mouse Club is my first entry into transmedias secret history posts. let’s see more about it it on more transmedia blogs… And BTW for all those with “transmedia story blogs” – its HAD NO “story”…it was a “container for stories”… a much better plan, based on it’s success, wouldnt you agree?:)