TED 2023 Trailer is evidence of the blurring line between creative content and marketing, viral video is used to extend the movie Itself, AdAge comments.


Ridley Scott

The TED2023 promo video created by Ridley Scott, writer Damon Lindelof and Scott’s son Luke was released on the TED blog and quickly became the subject of online articles and social-media discussions. It is a great example of a technique sweeping the entertainment industry: transmedia storytelling , in which a message or story is conveyed across multiple platforms, wrote Jeff Gomez and Simon Pulman in article for Advertising Age about upcoming Skott’s movie “Prometheus” (starring also Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender).

The “Trailer” began unexpectedly at this year’s TED conference, with a presentation by entrepreneur Peter Weyland, who powerfully articulated the challenges facing a society beginning to question its own nature in the face of rapidly advancing technology. Weyland’s talk was one of the highlights of the conference of presentations by thought leaders. The twist, of course, is that Weyland isn’t real. He’s a character from “Prometheus,” played by Guy Pearce, and he was speaking from the year 2023!

Unlike conventional trailers, which use rapidly cut, repurposed footage and are widely available online along with straight clips, transmedia videos expand the movie’s narrative and encourage fans to immerse themselves more deeply into the story. The advertising becomes part of the movie — with the bonus that it is tailored for mobile devices and sharing across social networks. Brands are even beginning to leverage the power of HTML 5 technologies to create videos with embedded interactive and social features.

Like all the best examples of transmedia storytelling, TED2023 can engage audiences on multiple levels. Enthusiasts can delve into the fictional web site for Peter Weyland’s company.  Those unfamiliar with Ridley Scott’s prior work may find their interest piqued by the video and the discussion around it, and be drawn deeper into the “Prometheus” mythology.

In the transition to transmedia, marketers have the creative opportunity and responsibility to o extend the film story.The content they generate must be compatible with the themes, tone and messaging of the film. This requires a heightened level of communication between producers, studio marketing teams and agencies brought on to execute a transmedia campaign, AdAge concludes.

UPDATE! 18 April, 2012: Mashable post about “Prometheus