Creators are giving consumers more control, since Millennials have grown up with tools that make active participants in media.
Lately, “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style stories—in which readers or viewers must decide how to proceed at various junctures before the narrative continues—have been popping up all over the place, from marketing initiatives to music videos. It’s no surprise that creators are giving consumers more control, given that Millennials have grown up with tools that make them active participants in entertainment and media; they’re accustomed to being at the center of experiences rather than passive observers. And technology is making this interactivity easier to execute.
Nissan’s “Deja View” campaign for the Infiniti Q50, billed as “an intelligent experience that adapts to YOU,” harnesses voice recognition. Viewers verbally direct the action in an online film that runs 15-20 minutes. British Airways’ “Yourope” is a video campaign in which consumers follow paths to different European destinations, which themselves offer an array of choices. TED-Ed, meanwhile, employs the technique to help students explore career opportunities in online videos.
In the comic book realm, DC Comics is experimenting with interactive stories designed for the iPad. The eight-chapter Batman: Arkham Origins, released in December, has a “branching story” format that moves the comic platform toward video game territory. We’ve also seen a few choosable-path music videos, including “The Vampyre of Time and Memory” from Queens of the Stone Age, in which viewers explore a surrealistic house. The video was made with The Creators Project, the partnership between Intel and Vice.
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