Rizzoli & Isles is a TNT television show; it relates the story of Jane Rizzoli, a police detective, and Dr. Maura Isles, a medical examiner. The show was premiered in 2010 and since then actors and creators are trying to expand the show by creating a whole new transmedia world about the show and its characters. In this blog post I chose to focus on the two main characters Twitter accounts, Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Isles.
Jane Rizzoli’s account counts more than thirty thousand followers and it is the same for Dr. Maura Isles’ account. Involving fictional characters in real life through social media is a great example of migratory cues. Indeed the characters of the show interact with each other but also with the fans. Like Henry Jenkins wrote migratory cues are “blurring the line between marketing and entertainment.” At first, people can think it is just a way to “create a more expansive and immersive story” and of course it is. But along with this amusement point of view, creators and producers of the show are thinking about the marketing advantage.
On their Twitter accounts, the characters are talking to each other just like we used to see in the show, this is a way of amplifying the reality of that fictional show. In a tweet, Jane asks Maura to play a game with her “while in the coffee line”, Jane’s character is putting herself and her friend (Maura’s character) in a daily life situation. This tweet allows fans to talk to their favorite character and at the same time the two characters talk to each other just like in the show, so the fans and followers can relate to those conversations. Those accounts are also a way for the fans to be aware of the updates of the show and at the same time it is a marketing strategy to make people wait between episodes or seasons.
Rizzoli & Isles transmedia world uses also the concept of cultural attractors and cultural activators. What cultural attractors do is drawing together a community of people who share common interest. Here, producers, creators and actors created Twitter accounts for the characters of the show; they gave them social cyber media life. And those accounts brought together the fans of the show, so they can meet online and interact with each other. Cultural activators give something to do to the people gathering around the transmedia. For example, through her account Jane Rizzoli is involving the followers directly in the show by referring to other characters and what happened to them; she also asks questions and answers to most of the people.
By combining migratory cues and cultural attractors/cultural activators people are moved from passive to active conditions. They have a part in the show so they keep watching the show and being involved in the community around it. And having more and more people watching is good for the show itself, it means money for the producers, actors and creators and it also means more episodes for the fans.
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 27 Feb. 2014. <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.
Jane Rizzoli Twitter account https://twitter.com/JaneRizzoli