Sunday, 19 April 2009

Fan fiction?

Tweeting characters to life...I came across this interesting interview with Carri Bugbee, a PR agency owner who 'hijacked' or became "Mad Men" characters on Twitter (winning a Shorty Award for her portrayal of Peggy Olson) on her own accord. This wasn't a whimsical idea, but based on in-depth character research that involved watching Mad Men episodes, writing down dialogue to nail the tone of voice, and following conversations between the Mad Men stars themselves on Twitter to see how they 'tweet' and talk amongst themselves in order to stay true to character. Based on the recognition she received for this project, Bugbee has launched an agency called Supporting Characters, that will market this digital character creation service to the entertainment industry.

What a strange authenticity...and interesting offer. Peggy Olson has 12,788 followers, not of Aston Kutcher fame, but still strong, and arguably, followers may be die-hard fans that really appreciate this digital expression of character. Others however gripe about whether the portrayal is accurate or as genuine as it could be...

I'm not sure where this brand-jacking will lead, but in an era of blurring lines between content creators and content consumers, I think this is a fabulous idea - digital character extensions expressed across multiple web platforms developed and managed by people well versed in interactivity, engagement and conversation (which will succeed when truly providing entertainment value to participants).

What do you think? Are you interested in following and interacting with characters? Who would be you ultimate follow? (I'd like to follow Cara Thrace).

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