The Relationship Between Transmedia Storytelling and Semiotics

Transmedia Storytelling refers to different pieces of content that are shared through several media platforms; each of these pieces is a story, but all the parts combined form a storyworld (Jenkins, 2006). Therefore, from a perspective of semiotics, Transmedia Storytelling can be considered a supersystem formed by many sign systems; the supersystem is the storyworld and each of the sign systems (story, experience, platforms, audience, business model) is a component of the story; in addition, each of those systems is composed by subsystems (Gambarato, 2012).

Carlos Scolari holds the view that Transmedia Storytelling is a narrative structure that expands through different media platforms using different types of languages such as text, images or symbols. It also expands through different forms of meaning, such as verbal and symbols and also different forms of media, which allows the story to extend and differ from the traditional approach of developing one single storyline on several platforms.

In Transmedia Storytelling, consumers can seek for information in each media platform to make their own connections (Jenkins, 2006) and give the story continuity and meaning. In stories that involve multiple platforms a dynamic cycle occurs when users interpret the semiotic signs that are being given to them through different media, thus generating a meaning from them. These must be used carefully in a Transmedia Storytelling setting considering that “we interpret the presented visual content differently because we align its meaning with that of the presented content of the accompanying text” (Lemke, 2011, p.577). Therefore, semiotics is the part of TS that links the meaning of the elements it contains.


My Research: Transmedia Storytelling. Creating Online Brand Engagement through the use of Semiotics in Multiplatform Stories.

Transmedia storytelling (TS) is a narrative structure that involves the development of a story through different platforms by using diverse types of languages, such as: text, images or symbols.In a time where consumers can search for information to make their own connections, the nature of TS can allow users to experience content and ultimately generate engagement with the audience or consumer. 

During my research I identified that there is a relationship among engagement and the use of semiotics in a TS strategy, so I developed the following relationship model to explain it:



The elements of the triangular “relationship model” are considered important pillars for the creation of a TS strategy; and I believe that having an understanding of these elements can lead to a deeper understanding of Transmedia Storytelling, and as a result, the creation of successful Transmedia strategies. 

Wastelander Panda, A Transmedia Story

A new transmedia story has arrived and it has people all over the world talking and hoping for more!

It is the story about the last remaining mutant panda and a human girl in a post-apocalyptic era, the new online series is called Wastelander Panda.

Due to the success of its trailer published online (watch here), the creators have so far elaborated three episodes, but they are using crowd-funding methods to be able to make more episodes.

This transmedia storytelling project currently has presence on the Wastelander Panda Website, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vimeo and YouTube (Epic Films, 2013) and it is starting to develop an immersive story world by providing background on the characters and the wasteland; an interactive map of the wasteland is also available on the website (



Transmedia Storytelling

This term has been around for a few years now, but recently it has been constantly used by media agencies to describe multiplatform strategies. As this topic caught my attention recently and became the main focus of my MA dissertation,i decided it was important to include it in my blog.

Firstly, lets define what transmedia storytelling is, according to Jenkins (2006) it is the art of world making and to fully experience this world, the consumers need to assume the role of hunters where by chasing pieces of information across different media channels and collaborating with each other a richer experience can be obtained. In his book CONVERGENCE CULTURE: WHERE OLD AND NEW MEDIA COLLIDE, Jenkins approaches different movie franchises that have applied transmedia storytelling to enrich the experience of the fans.

A transmedia story is developed in different platforms, where each one of those media platforms makes an independent contribution to the story, yet the content of all platforms makes a whole story.