Fans' Narrations: A Study on the Reproduction Practices of Branding Stories in the Context of Participatory Culture

Fans' Narrations: A Study on the Reproduction Practices of Branding Stories in the Context of Participatory Culture

Ersin Diker (Gümüşhane University, Turkey) and Birgül Taşdelen (Gümüşhane University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5357-1.ch015
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In today's world, with the development of technology, brands have turned to new communication means and methods apart from traditional communication tools like television, newspapers, magazines, cinemas, etc. in order to differentiate and escape from their competitors in an increasingly competitive environment. Storytelling and social media are the leading ones among these tools and methods. Thus, brands aim to create branding process and brand loyalty through the strategic communication they have established in social media with consumers. The concept of participatory culture has expanded thanks to digital communication technologies and social media. Fans who have an important place in the storytelling of transmedia reshape a story, associate it with their own lives, and recreate it by producing it again through various media, especially social media. Thus, in this study, it is aimed to reveal how the transmedia storytelling which has been awarded with fan comments in the context of participant culture contributes to brand communication, image, reputation, and marketing.
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Transmedia Storytelling

A Latin origined term, the transmediation has been used as a new whole meaning term (Falzon, 2012), which is larger than the parts at the same time, indicating features that are simultaneously created and distributed for multimedia applications in the last two decades. American scientist Marsha Kinder is the first person who suggested the term Transmedia. Henry Jenkins, on the other hand, became the first to introduce the term “Transmedia storytelling” (Zimmermann, 2014). Transmedia storytelling is one of the technological and imaginary approaches of the transmedia paradigm. Henry Jenkins's work on Transmedia Storytelling (2003) has shown that transmedia storytelling can be described as “a specific narrative structure that is transmitted and expanded through different languages (verbal, iconic etc.) and media (cinema, comic books, television, video games, etc.) It is not just transmedia storytelling that serves in the context of the narrative world. In addition to Transmedia storytelling, cross-media, multimedia, hybrid media, transmedial interactions and intermedia define the same semantic experience (Scolari, 2009). According to Pennington (2010), transmedance differs from multiple platforms. Unlike the cross-media, where content is on various platforms, transmedia storytelling means that a narrative is presented on different channels with their different perspectives. Transmedia, which is among the semantic practices, therefore encourages multiple literacy, which has the ability to interpret different media and discourse. Our minds do not like accidental situations or objects. Thus, our minds naturally connects some familiar parts one another subconsciously. There are signs and indicators in the source of the images that feed people's imagination. According to Dinehart (2008); “In Transmedia works, the viewer / user / actor transforms the story through his natural cognitive psychological skills and removes the artwork from the scene”. At the root of the content created for versatile storytelling, there is an effort to reconfigure the audience through multiple distribution channels and create a story world in order to experience an emotional and participatory experience. Transmedia studies are introducing new transformations to production decision, buyer / consumer experience and vision. Jenkins (2007) states that these transformations are a process of looking at the world and representing it and suggest:

Key Terms in this Chapter

Media Convergence: The transformation of traditional media into new media and the addition of new functions to all the experiences of traditional media.

Transmedia Storytelling: Narrating a story on multiple platforms and taking the audience into an emotional journey through successive platforms.

New Media: New trends and structural changes around the internet, digital television, and mobile devices, which lead to the presentation of a communication platform in which the audience can speak contrary to the hierarchical relations maintained in a linear flow line with modern media tools.

Brand Communities: Groups in which various consumers with similar buying behavior, interests, and thoughts come together to exchange information about a brand, participate in the brand's activities and discuss the brand.

Fan Communities: A culture medium in which a storytelling can be related to their own lives and new ideas emerge and evolve before spreading to the masses of society.

Social media: Web 2.0-based applications on internet basis where individuals create profiles and interact with other users by generating content (photos, text, audio, video, etc.), exchanging information and sharing.

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