4D Commercials

At RedMagmaMedia, we have been investigating the new forms of storytelling for a long time. We have also tested many different methods and we have even developed proprietary technologies to recruit and engage large communities of participants around different types of content. We have reached the conclusion, that we have to be able to produce “4D Commercials” and we set in place a structure to achieve the goal.

What does “4D Commercials” means in practical terms? We believe that TV Commercials need to have 4 dimensions to be effective and to play a meaningful role in the present media landscape.

1. Excellence

Commercials have to be not only good but “unbelievably good”. It means that they mast tell a story in a surprisingly, astonishingly and memorably innovative way. They don’t have to look just as commercials but as  pieces of a bigger and engaging narrative. To achieve the goal several resources have to be put in place: directors with a special sense of storytelling, capable producers with an understanding of the behavior of today’s consumers and high end technologies

2. Cultural Attraction

Commercials have to be powerful community builders and be able to congregate like-minded participants.

3. Cultural Activation

Commercials have to incorporate some form of call to action to energize the participants (the formerly known as “consumers”) and give them a mission. For this reason commercials have to be conceived and produced to be sharable, spreadable, vloggable, facebookable, twittable, bookmarkable, etc.

4. Narrative Expansion

While the cultural activation dimension makes that the commercials are re-purposed of dozens of different platforms in the original 30” format, the 4th dimension calls for a much broader mission: expanding the narrative into other mediums and platforms creating a transmedia universe where the stories told by the brand can live together with the fantasies of the participants. In this way the commercial become the embryos for a wide transmedia narrative and eventually a participatory fiction. If the storyworld was an iceberg, the commercial would be the 10% visible portion of it while the rest of the narrative would expand in all directions attracting large communities of participants.

May 30th, 2011


  • Pernaris

    And content.  I believe that technology is part of the equation but content is growing to be a bigger part of the take away and retention a commercial has to have in order to make a difference in the consumer’s mind and practices.

    Content development and “adver-taintment” is definitely the way of the future and a huge opportunity for production companies to stay alive and compete in this evolving market.

    There are just too many outlets and too many ways in which people can reach content, programming and stories, some commercial free.  So where can we expand and grow? In content development.  The story of the brand and the commercial is really a teaser and a trailer with the call to action to experience the brand and learn further as the story develops.  How does this product affect your life?  and how does this product make you better? etc…

    I’m looking to evolve into content production and the evolution of the commercial…. the story!

  • Anonymous

    Do you have any examples of ads that have done this…I’m scratching my head for one that has ever expanded its narrative.

    • Massimo

      Some examples are, for instance: Old Spice, Absolute Anthem, Coca-Cola Happiness Factory, etc