During the first week of May three members of Transmedia Storytelling Berlin were invited by the Selçuk University to go on an excursion to Konya and Istanbul in Turkey.
Invitation by the Selçuk University
Transmedia Storytelling Berlin had the pleasure to be invited to the Turkish city of Konya by Selçuk University. The advertising department inside the communications faculty is a pioneer in the education of Transmedia in Turkey, organizing regular conferences and events for its students. The latest conference „İletişimde Yeni Teknolojiler“ (the „Transmedia Storytelling Workshop“) focused on the practical use of Transmedia.
Thus Transmedia Storytelling Berlin was generously chosen to take part in the congress and our trip to Konya was made possible with support of the Turkish agency for the support of science and education, Tübitak, which is currently celebrating the Turkish-German Year of Research and Science.
The two days of the conference began with a very warm welcome for the members of Transmedia Storytelling Berlin. The ballroom of the sophisticated Rixos hotel in Konya was brimming with students, members of the faculty and the advertising department who filled the room almost to the last seat. After introductions and the official opening of the congress through the dean of Selçuk University, Transmedia Storytelling Berlin went ahead with the first part of its presentation. Philipp Zimmermann presented historical defintions of Transmedia; followed by Patrick Möller with an overview of the evolution of Transmedia and Dorothea Martin closed this first segment with a selection of recent state-of-the-art projects and Transmedia endeavors.
Diğdem Sezen, from İstanbul University, came next. With extensive knowledge and her own experiences as a scientific scholar at MIT and Nottingham University, she elaborated on Transmedia and its meaning for the present day media landscape. Her presentation, ranging from the cross-media marketing effort of „Star Wars“, to the recent success of the „Angry Birds“ franchise introduced the audience to the latest techniques and best practices of the field.
Thus she offered us a perfect transition for the second segment of our presentation which focussed on best cases in Germany. Having chosen from recent Transmedia projects we offered case studies to „Geheimer Krieg“, „Wagnerwahn“ and the MOOC „The future of storytelling“. Dorothea Martin went on to provide further insight into the field of Digital Marketing in Germany, before Patrick Möller closed off our segment with an overview of the most recent scientific literature and research on Transmedia.
Our presentation was assisted by an on-stage translator and the kind support of Diğdem Sezen who assured that even the most complicated terminology was not lost in translation. Before we were invited to a banquet with the heads of the University, the faculty and the department.
Transmedia Storytelling Workshop: Campaign for Kozmos Film
The second day consisted of two major events. First Yüce Zerey, head of Coca-Cola Turkey’s department for interactive marketing, took the stage and presented an analysis of the current conditions for marketing in Turkey and an extensive overview of his company’s recent campaigns. He went in depth, explaining humor and how to establish an emotional bond with the turkish audience. The reaction of the mostly student audience towards videos of Coca-Cola’s campaigns such as „Coke & Rock“ and the last Valentine’s Day campaigns proved his approach of using well-known tropes and humor to spread a positive image of the brand.
The second event was the workshop given by Transmedia Storytelling Berlin. We had prepared a fictional brief for a transmedia campaign and a set of questions which the participating students had to answer, creating their own transmedia campaign in the process. The brief focussed on a fictional TV and movie company who wished to extend its reach towards young audiences with an elaborate transmedia campaign in celebration of its 100th birthday. The accompanying questions focused on the interconnectivity of various media and narrative elements and culminated in a short summary of the experience from the audience’s perspective.
Assisted by faculty members of Selçuk University, the students spent the afternoon working on their ideas which were presented to their peers, their professors and ourselves at the end. The 11 teams of 5 students each had chosen diverse combinations of media and ideas. From apps that preluded open-air festivals to guided augmented reality crime stories and online games with the possibility to upload one’s own photo, the presentations brimmed with creativity.
Hospitality in Konya and Istanbul
The warm welcome of our team also included excursions into the historical city centre of Konya, a city that is proud of its past as a capital of the Selçuk kingdom and being the hometown of Mevlânâ, also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, the poet, influential theologian and founder of the Sufi Order of the Whirling Dervishes. The Mevlânâ Museum at the heart of the city, includes the beautiful mosque that was once the heart of the Dervish Order. Of course, our generous hosts made sure that we also got to enjoy the culinary offerings of the city.
Yet the University was even more kind in also offering us a tour of Istanbul as well. During our stopover, we had the unique chance to enjoy the city in the company of two representatives of the University who showed us around, guiding is not only towards the tourist sights, but also offering us a glimpse at the lesser frequented, but not less impressive streets of the city that few tourists have a chance to see.
We are very grateful for the hospitality of Selçuk University who offered us a fantastic excursion and an insight into the turkish foray and implementation of transmedia. The will of the faculty to include transmedia in its curriculum will mean that it should be very interesting to keep an eye on the future professional careers of its students.
In the name of Transmedia Storytelling Berlin, once again, many thanks to Selçuk University, its advertising department and all the people who worked on the congress and its organizations for our fantastic excursion.