Penguin tell stories in today’s media mix culture

3 Apr

What happens when you combine classic literature together with Google Earth, Blogging, Twitter, and a splash of alternate reality gaming? Well, you get Penguin’s uber cool new campaign “We Tell Stories”.

Penguin are no longer simply telling stories in books, they are telling stories across a multitude of media platforms in a unique and immersive storytelling experience. Probably a good example of transmedia storytelling.

Six top authors are re-writing popular Penguin classics, but with today’s media mix culture in mind.

The first story “The 21 Steps” [inspired by The 39 Steps], is an adventure designed for Google Maps API. Penguin are being creative with smart technology.



The second story “Slice” [based on The Haunted Doll’s House] takes place across multiple blogs and follows the characters on Twitter. If you want to get deeply immersed, you can even email them.


The third story “Fairy Tales” is not any old fairy tale; it is in fact your very own fairy tale. You pick the characters names, and choose their paths, and once complete you can even write your own epilogue. I imagine this is fitting for a slightly younger audience – who frequently fight their own battles for expressive freedom and for the right to play with technology.

The next three stories are available over the following weeks. Look out for the next story 7th April, based on the classic Thérèse Raquin.

The final leg of this campaign is a secret [or not so secret?] seventh story featuring “a vaguely familiar girl who has a habit of getting herself lost.” Intrigued? I am. This is where it gets really exciting. What’s most exciting about the final story, is that it will break beyond the browser and clues will appear online, but also in the real-world. Yes, the real world is waking up. I imagine this will be high-involvement, but players they will have the chance to win some big prizes, including over £13,000 worth of the greatest books ever written. Steep reading…

It’s great to see brands engaging in new and exciting ways. A brilliantly entertaining campaign. As ever, the forums are going wild with speculation – everyone knows something, no-one knows everything – so they all share together and collective intelligence emerges.

Penguin have developed this campaign in partnership with alternate reality games company SixtoStart [creators of the popular ARG Perplex City]. They have hinted we need to “look out for the bunny”, whatever that means…



3 Responses to “Penguin tell stories in today’s media mix culture”

  1. Alistair Beattie April 5, 2008 at 2:18 am #

    At a guess, the bunny is a reference to Alice in Wonderland – falling down rabbit holes and all that…

  2. nicspic2608 April 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm #

    Good call Al. I’ve kept a look out to click on it, but no luck as yet…


  1. Penguin 007 = Illustration and Typography heaven « Nicola Davies - June 3, 2008

    […] 3, 2008 Following the gripping ‘we tell stories’ transmedia campaign from Penguin, here’s yet another post from me about Penguin. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: