Blurred reality – the future of entertainment

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The SyFy channel in the UK has been doing reruns of a little-known TV series from Canada called ReGenesis. The series follows the trial and tribulations of of a group of scientists who operate at the cutting edge of bioscience solving problems across North America.

The series had all the usual stuff: podcasts around the soundtrack and a lively discussion board that argued and probed the science and show continuity.

The clever bit about this show was the work that Shaftesbury Films did with Xenophile Media to develop an alternative reality game to engage the original Canadian audience for the show. Mystery and conspiracy weaved from the game was weaved around the episodes. Participants were engaged through a dedicated website, emails and other media: blurring the line between reality and fiction.

ReGenesis has got canceled after four series, but the lessons and innovations that the show rolled out in successfully engaging a transmedia audience is something that media companies need to get up to speed with these techniques in order to survive.

I think that there is also lessons for lifestyle brands as well from the ReGenesis television series. Think about Red Bull or Relentless drinks brands, imagine who they could further engage their customers online as an extension to their real-world experiential efforts and even point-of-purchase?