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Embodying Balenciaga's 'Afterworld': Immersive and Experiential Transmedia Storytelling in the Attention Economy
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), School of Arts and Communication (K3). (Media & Communications - Culture, Collaborative Media, and Creative Industries)
2022 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today’s ‘attention economy’, it seems insufficient to just offer products. Instead, it is crucial to provide the audience with deep, affective emotions and embodied experiences. This seems to be especially true for the fashion and lifestyle sector. As Sara Rossoni, a researcher in luxury management, summarizes, this industry is becoming a “trade of feelings” (2018, 40). To arrive at a comprehensive understanding of this phenomenon, this degree project approaches it through a case study of the transmedia story told across two media products released alongside the fashion house Balenciaga’s Fall 2021 collection.

Thereby, the analysis is based on the ‘trade of feelings’ concept by Rossoni (2018) as an umbrella term to examine how the campaign connects emotionally with the audience and forms deep relationships. Various theories are integrated to get a comprehensive overview of the factors at play. They include embodied interaction, immersiveness, embodied presence, the inner branding model, experiential value, as well as gamification. The methodological approach is based on multimodal critical dis- course analysis according to Machin & Mayr (2012), which is combined with parts of the framework for transmedia storytelling by Gambarato (2013).

The results indicate that there are intrinsically linked forces at play in this emotional bonding process – the multimodal features of the media products combined create an emotional, immersive, and embodied experience for the consumer. Particularly, among other aspects, this is achieved through an accessible, widespread release strategy; a unique, captivating virtual environment; gamification elements; as well as communicating relevant values to the Generation Z target audience and hence stimulating collective knowledge sharing among the brands’ fan community.

Concluding, this thesis provides a comprehensive overview of the different emotional processes in these highly experiential fashion branding activities. Hence, it shows that this is a complex phenomenon with interrelated factors at play, with most of them happening on an unconscious dimension in the consumers’ mind. As there are certain limitations concerning this qualitative study rooted in subjectivity and the single-case approach, it would be effective for future research studies to employ more quantitative methods to arrive at more valid conclusions concerning this development in fashion and lifestyle branding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022.
Keywords [en]
Transmedia storytelling, embodied interaction, immersiveness, experiential marketing, fashion branding, sensory marketing, attention economy
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-52686OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-52686DiVA, id: diva2:1668605
Educational program
KS K3 Media and Communication Studies (master); KS K3 Media and Communication Studies (bachelor)
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Examiners
Available from: 2022-06-28 Created: 2022-06-13 Last updated: 2022-06-28Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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