HBO Re-Imagines Storytelling

HBO, masters of televised storytelling, recently won an award for the outdoor component of its innovative “Imagine” marketing campaign created by BBDO New York and The Barbarian Group. Large cubes were built in urban locations in three cities. Each night they a became four-sided movie theater. The outdoor screens or the structure of telling the same story from four different perspectives (see: Rashomon, a single story told from different points-of-view) aren’t particularly new. However, the placement of the storytelling experience into a setting where the audience experiences each of the four perspectives by moving around the cube is brilliant.

This setting elevates an enjoyable short film to an interactive puzzle that is entertaining for individuals, couples or groups of people to collectively experience.  Watch a clip about the cube installation:

The overall “Imagine” campaign, running since last September, has been pushing the boundaries of storytelling and reinforcing its position as the top creator of televised stories.


The campaign is centered around a web experience that allows visitors to explore a grid of interconnected story elements to unlock or discover the whole story. Part game and all storytelling, it pushes the bar for creative and nearly non-linear storytelling much higher. I can’t wait to see/experience what this provokes in the creative community.

Transmedia thinking helps storytellers to take steps further and further away from traditional narrative and linear storytelling. With each step taken we will discover new ways to connect with audiences, new ways to express ideas, and new methods of generating meaning.

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