Choose-Your-Own-Netflix

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Choose-Your-Own-Netflix

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Netflix announced recently that they are producing a choose-your-own-adventure series in the vein of “Black Mirror.” This is a groundbreaking announcement in the media industry. Up to this point, choose-your-own-adventure interactive stories, outside of video games, have been limited to books and the occasional YouTube series. There have also been occasional projects posted online in a similar style. However, this specific narrative genre has never been seen on such a large scale. So, how does this relate to digital marketing? It doesn’t. At least it doesn’t relate directly. But it is a sort of concept that I think opens up many ideas in the area of digital marketing.

Giving the audience a sense of agency almost always results in a more involved, engaged audience. Viewing changes from a passive to a more active method. When people are already interacting with the content just to simply consume it, it opens the door for more people that are willing to interact with it online. Encouraging people to share the individual story that they experienced from the content, while allowing them to discuss those stories with other people online, can ultimately create an extremely engaged audience. This all comes back to the idea of narrative media and the inherent communities that build around it. I believe interactive storytelling can bring new kinds of people into those communities, and result in a much larger audience. Supporting and enhancing that community experience falls back on the marketers, though, and that can be a challenging position to be in.

I’m not sure how Netflix and/or the content creators will handle this project when it is finally released, but I’m really looking forward to how they treat it differently than their other media. TV is never treated the same as film. Film is never treated the same as video games. Interactive media should not be treated the same as other media as well. It’s different, and on all fronts, should be treated differently.


About Author

Logan McElroy

Logan McElroy

Logan is a fourth-year Digital Marketing and Entertainment and Media Studies student at the University of Georgia. He has worked at a movie theater for 5+ years, and has moved from floor to staff to management to Head of Digital Marketing and In-Theater marketing for University Cinemas. His greatest interest is how media, and more specifically story, can help to create relationships between brands and consumers in a subtle, respectful way. Follow his blog at WordPress or his Twitter to stay updated on thoughts related to the media and marketing industries.

3 Comments

Cedrick Haney

Cedrick Haney

October 9, 2018at 12:27 pm

This was an interesting read. I think it will be awesome to see how Netflix will incorporate this new idea. I also think it will be very hard to create an interactive tv series but i’m excited to see how they do it. Keeping fans interested may also give Netflix some problems but they will figure it out.

Haley Planson

Haley Planson

October 9, 2018at 1:26 pm

I recently heard about this new project with Black Mirror and am so excited about it! I’ve watched the first two seasons and loved the crazy, mind-bending plot twists. I think it’ll be interested to be able to choose my own experience and decide how the episode will end. I’m thrilled to see how Netflix handles it!
I definitely agree that this can apply to digital marketing techniques. It is important for brands to engage their audience because it helps retain loyal customers. I think marketers can learn from this idea and start applying it to their own tactics.

Kelly Ahern

Kelly Ahern

October 15, 2018at 11:12 am

I had quickly read something about this and it was so interesting to me so I was excited to read more about it here. I personally think it is a great idea on Netflix’s part. Firstly, I haven’t watched Black Mirror but this announcement makes me want to start watching so I can be apart of this new interactive experience. Secondly, if I was a fan of the show I would probably want to see each possible ending which would force me to really engage and interact with this show multiple times. Lastly, this is of course going to generate a lot of conversation which is good for Netflix, and the Netflix original. Overall a really smart move for Netflix and I am interested to see if this could even potentially be the next big thing.

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