What are the boundaries of content? What are the limits for the most important pieces of entertainment in our lives? Can the silver screen, the TV screen or the small screen in our pocket mark the beginning and end of stories we get in touch with, as they could in the past?

The evolution of channels has often made clear that the inclusion of a social and digital aspect in the ideation process crucial to success of a content project: movies, TV series, shows, music projects are all impacted. This change has sparked a creative and economic impact on the entertainment industry and its actors: creators, authors, brands, media and agencies.

Today, film, series and cultural objects that are close to us, very often go beyond the experience of the single main content. Creators look more and more at how main narration can extend to several communication channels: before and after, inside and outside the main “show”.

Cinema and series in particular are social objects that people want to talk about, and in many cases, be part of or - somehow - influence, if not co-create.

Jonathan Nolan (screenwriter - Memento, Interstellar, The Dark Knight) and Lisa Joy (producer - Burn Notice), have told how this approach has positive outcomes for the audience, while generating a 360° world outside the episodes.

In this scenario, creativity in marketing and communication has two main reasons, and many gradients between them.

The most traditional objective is getting people closer to the core content experience: stimulating them to watch movies, follow series, read books… This approach has existed in cinema since 1892, when Jules Chéret created the first “cinema” poster.

The most innovative aspect of this creative approach is the extension of the experience outside the core experience. From Walt Disney, who has always believed in the value of content “beyond the screens”, to many of the current content projects that can be lived fully only through many channels.

It’s possible to map this environment.

A few examples can be useful to understand how social possibilities are growing.

The story extension can be developed for marketing purpose, to give more attention to an upcoming content of event and even to support co-branding activities.

Deadpool 2 launch campaign shows several examples on social channels that go in this direction (both for promotion of content and co-branding activities).

The extension can happen also to encourage repetition. Another good example for it can come from HBO Westworld (see, for instance among many, a piece of narration developed for SXSW or another for the Reddit community).

Another co-branded extension example is Destiny 2 Ghost Skill for Alexa. It encourages repetition (as it’s mainly for players), while also giving a new playground to the game story.

Why are new channels (mainly social and digital) becoming the center for story extension and promotion of content? Why is it changing? The reason is clear if you look at which channels people use. People respond to content they love, and are paying comparatively less attention to traditional ad-supported channels and more to channels they use everyday (both ad-supported and not). Big changes are happening to the media landscape due to this aspect and we’re starting to see them today.

In this constantly evolving environment, social tools of creativity are fundamental elements to build the future of entertainment and content, from an expressive point of view as well as from a business point of view.

Exciting times are ahead at the intersection of content, social and creativity, and at We Are Social, we’re thrilled to be a part of this evolution with many of our clients.