Transmedia Entertainment & Marketing

IBCoM: CM2052


We came up with 2 different television series for our transmedia project. The first being Once Upon A Time, a new television series that is starting their second season in one week. Our second idea is to further extend a new series called Awake as a transmedia text. This television series however,  got canceled after its first season (Awake, n.d.). Both of the series no other transmedia texts apart from their official websites and



The series takes place in the fictional seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, which acts like a parallel universe in which the residents are actually characters from various and well known fairy tales like Snow White and Red Riding Hood that were transported to the ‘real world’ town by a powerful curse. Their only hope lies with Emma Swan, who was transported from the fairy tale world before she could be cursed. Therefore, she is the only person who can break the curse and restore the character’s magical memories, guided by her son, Henry, who has a book of fairy tales that holds the key to ending the curse.

Why Once Upon A Time?

We chose this particular series because it’s new and very popular. According to Disney, the series has been licensed to over 190 countries. That being said, the show gives an unique opportunity to look into the world of well-known stories of your childhood, but still making in interesting for children, teenagers and adults to follow. The fantasy world of both Storybrooke and the Enchanted Forest takes your imagination to a whole other level, and could even make us wonder. Also, because it’s new and no other transmedia texts have been made, it’s very easy to take this magical content and shape it in different ways that will supply all the needs for the different kinds of audience the shows attracts. The show itself gives us a great opportunity to broaden our fantasy world from the past into our future.

 How we are planning to expand this

We are planning to expand this show in the following ways:

  1. Use social media
  2. Involve viewers in figuring out how to escape (solving the problem)
  3. Creating the fairytale experience
  4. Publishing books

Using social media is something we want to focus on expanding because nowadays a lot of people use social media thus it is an effective way to involve the audience in the show and at the same time promote it. We are thinking of creating several accounts of the characters and let them for example tweet and post posts on facebook, things that character would say or include hints about what is about to happen in the show. Secondly we want to involve the viewers in figuring out how to escape, for example by creating a game where they can try to escape or break the curse and put that game on the website. Thirdly we want to create the fairytale experience, create a big event where people can be one of the characters of the show and experience what it is like. Lastly we want to publish books about the story of the show because in that we might also be able to reach more viewers and make the show a bigger success and enlarge the experience of watching the show.


The series is about a police detective who lives two alternating parallel lives. He is a happy husband and a father whose life changes after a car accident takes the life of one family member. Two parallel lives are created after this accident, one where he lives with his son, but his wife is dead and the other where he lives with his wife and goes through the recent loss of their son. The question

This series proposes is whether one of these realities is merely a dream. The audience tries to discover which life is the real one through various hints that may further confuse them but keep them hooked to find out more at the same time (Awake, n.d.).

Why Awake?

This series is chosen as one of our options firstly because the story really intrigued us and because it was a great opportunity to further extend it as a media text as the show was canceled and there aren’t any other extended transmedia texts except for a website. This series involves the audience as it is trying to unravel the truth about the story. You are faced with the questions of whether the main character has actually gone mad after dealing with the loss of both his wife and son, while at the same time trying to discover whether one alternate parallel reality is not real, or whether he may actually be the one dead. While it involves the audience in this aspect, extending it to a transmedia text could be a great opportunity by trying to engage with what the audiences believe is the truth.

How we are planning to expand this

We are planning to expand this show in the following ways:

  1. Use social media
  2. Give the audience the opportunity to discover more hints
  3. Encourage them to write their reality for the main character
  4. Publishing books

With the show awake we want to use social media to give the audience hints about the truth. We want to create an twitter and facebook account of the main character and let him post certain things that give hints to which reality he lives in. This keeps the audience interested, enlarges the experience of the show and motivates people to watch the show; it makes them curious. Secondly we want to give the audience the opportunity to discover more hints by giving them certain facts every week or every month, for example create small webisodes that include flashbacks of what happened to discover more hints about which reality he lives in. Thirdly, we want to encourage the viewers to write their reality for the main character, so what they think what really happened or what use their imagination for what could have happened. We might throw a competition online and include their stories in the real show. In this way we involve the audience in the process and in the making of the product. Finally we want to publish books of how the main character experiences all this, so the story only then the book will reveal what he thinks, it will describe how he experiences this with words, and of course will also give hints about the truth. All in all we want to expand the concept of hints because that could have the potential of making this show a successful transmedia product.

Now, which idea do you believe is a better or more interesting option?

by Charlotte Caspers, Isabelle Parqui Martinez & Thapasya  Vijayaraghavan


Awake . (n.d.). IMDb – Movies, TV and Celebrities. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from

NBC. (n.d.). Awake . – TV Network for Primetime, Daytime and Late Night Television Shows. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from

Awake Season 1. (n.d.). YouTube . Retrieved September 26, 2012, from

Once Upon A Time. (n.d.). Retrieved September 26, 2012, from Wikipedia:



  1. sandraiwendell
    September 26, 2012

    I think both of them sound very interesting to expand on. However, I think the way you describe the second one sounds similar to “the truth about Marika”, where the audience try to find out the truth about her disappearance. If you are going to do that one, I think you can try to make a slightly different approach. Myself love fantasy worlds so I also like the first one, but that requires lots of fantasy if it going to be good. I think you really found two nice series to expand on and I am sure both of them can be really nice with right insights and creativity!

  2. Evelien De Smedt
    September 27, 2012

    Your first idea sounds very interesting, because you can definitely go into various media extensions. I agree with Sandra that you will need creativity but at the same time you can have a simple idea and make that into a huge succes. For instance, by making a CD with an updated version of all the songs of each fairytale.
    Moreover, I agree with Sandra in that your second choice could be going into the same direction as ‘The truth about Marika’. Maybe you could look into why the show got cancelled and see how you could renew it by using your extensions or by targetting a different audience. I think both your ideas have a lot of potential and can definitely make a succesful transmedia story!

  3. Lisanne van Beurden
    September 27, 2012

    Hi guys! I thought both ideas are very interesting! I really want to see the shows after reading your blog.
    I agree with Evelien that you have to figure out why the second show got canceled. The show sounds very interesting to me, however it might be the case that the audience did not like the show. Or perhaps there was not enough promotion. This should be looked into.
    I especially liked the idea of ‘Once Upon a Time’ as there is a lot of imagination and creativity in there. Just like Sandra I like fantasy worlds and I think that ‘Once Upon a Time’ is a good show for a transmedia product.
    I do think it is important to consider what kind of target group you are going to focus on, as ‘Once Upon a Time’ can sound like a show for children, but I do not think this is actually the case (or maybe it is?).
    Good luck!


  4. Soumaya Benkhattab
    September 27, 2012

    I also think both ideas are very interesting but I do think the first one is better. Fantasy movies have become a hit since Harry Potter and I think that you can go on many different directions with this idea. I do agree with Lisanne when it comes to considering to whom are you targeting this show to. Think for example for children, you can make coloring pictures for them to draw on or adults, a forum where they can discuss the content of the show. Anyway, since its new and no other transmedia is used, you can go for it!

  5. Isabelle
    September 28, 2012

    To answer your questions about Awake: The series Awake averaged 4.8 million viewers per episode and it was also ranked 125th in viewership (Awake, n.d.). Although it got cancelled it was however a critical success. The show was cancelled due to low ratings, but NBC still finished airing the rest of the episodes. Despite the its short life span, it has a big fanbase who came together to create the “Save Awake” campaign to convince networks to continue the show. Awake is also nominated for an award. A theory is however that if Awake had more promotion through transmedia texts that it could have been more of a success!

    Awake . (n.d.). IMDb – Movies, TV and Celebrities. Retrieved September 26, 2012, from

  6. Linda Weidinger
    September 28, 2012

    Hello, I think your first idea is really great, because I am really on fantasy story and I think that many people do that too. Therefore, I find the idea very well and I also think that you can transpose these stories with a lot of things! From games to events where people can imitate the character of the story. It has a really wide range of possibilities! Especially since the story does not exist so long and the transmedia elements are also expandable yet! Good luck and lots of creative ideas! 🙂

  7. Robin Alkemade
    October 1, 2012

    Hi guys.
    I liked both your ideas, however as Evelien and Lisanne already mentioned you should look into the fact why the show got cancelled. I myself would not create a transmedia story around a show got cancelled since there is probably a reason for that. I really like the ideas about ‘one upon a time’. Since I watch the show I think it is a great idea to create a transmedia story around it, especially since it gives the characters the uportunity to give more perspective to their stories (as a fan I would like to read those perspectives). Maybe it is an idea to create a blog where fans of the show can discuss different ways to escape Storybrooke. Good luck with chosing and working the stories out 🙂

  8. Victoria
    October 3, 2012

    Robin is right don‘t create a transmedia story around a show which seems to be finished. I prefer your idea with the fairytale experience for once upon a time. You can extend the event to create an adventure park where people can immerse in the world of the different characters. Like the disney world just with the focus for the older people.

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