Audience Development Strategies


Audience Development allows the Entertainment producer to connect directly with its indented audience. It’s being used extensively in the last couple of years, from independent movies that have a companion web site and a Facebook Fan page, to the multi-million dollar interactive experience that involve games, web sites and live events. What all these projects have in common is the desire of their producers to engage an audience using digital and social media tools.

For the first time in this industry, creators can “own the audience”. They can talk to the audience and find out what they like (or dislike). The success of their work is not 100% dependable on the work of a distributor or sales agent. Using audience engagement strategies, directors and producers can validate their work directly with a real audience and can build a fan base and increase awareness of their project from early development stage to the premiere of their work, whatever a film, tv show, book or videogame. During this period, that in the indie world can mean a few years, audiences can be part of the production and feel that this is their work too.

In the end, this will mean a pre-built audience willing not only to pay for a ticket or a product, but they also become advocates that can spread the good word about the work on their own social media profiles or directly to their (real) friends.

Without multi-million dollar campaigns, the success of an independent film is always achieved with strong word of mouth and good reviews in the press (and a few awards at the most important festivals). What the transmedia approach allows, is for the producers and the creative team to start building that word of mouth process as early as possible so it can grow, as a snowball, during all the production process, so when the movie premieres it already has an audience. The success of movies like Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity or more recent Kevin Smith’s Red State was the result of the buzz created by the filmmakers using the internet and social media and a clear audience development and engagement strategy.

Most of the so-called transmedia projects that were produced in the last couple of years are just that – transmedia brand extensions. Most studio and network executives see it only as on-line marketing tool to promote to the young crowds of movie goers the upcoming summer blockbusters or the new sci-fi based network TV series. But the concept of transmedia goes beyond that.


Transmedia Storytelling Books Now Available

Every producer aspires to design an entertainment brand that can grow into a pop icon, a brand whose storyworld or hero has enough creative potential to power spin-offs and reboots, theme park rides and acres of merchandise. But, how can independents achieve this degree of success if they don’t have one hundred million dollars to spend on a marketing campaign or the time to gamble on a one in a million viral video or game? One of the answers is to use Transmedia Storytelling to build an entertainment brand that can conquer audiences, readers and users around the globe and in a myriad of platforms.

Through his own experience producing transmedia with beActive, Nuno Bernardo developed a step-by-step approach to building long-running Multiplatform Entertainment brands and loyal viewing communities. Now he wants to share his knowledge with filmmakers, television, games, and digital content producers, marketers and brand managers, audiovisual and media students who want to learn a trick or two about how to use stories and a transmedial approach to marketing, advertising and communication to attract audiences and users to their stories and products.

Nuno Bernardo’s Transmedia franchises have been adapted all across the globe, from the UK to China, conquering tens of millions of loyal fans and featuring in the world’s greatest film and television festivals along the way. Nuno has been nominated for three EMMY awards, two Rose d’ Or awards and won two Kidscreen Awards. Based on his experiences, recently he published “Transmedia 2.0”, the follow up to his 2011 best selling book “The Producers Guide to Transmedia”. Find out more about Transmedia Storytelling here.