How a simple story grows with multimedia

By Fan Zhen on June 1, 2012

Holding an "angry bird" at the conference, Paul Chen, General Manager of Rovio China, said the company would build theme parks and set up official stores in China in the near future.
[Photo by Fan Zhen/]

Lin Hua, vice president of Cloudary Corporation, talked about digital publishing at the conference in Beijing.
[Photo by Fan Zhen/]

Holger Volland, vice president of Frankfurt Book Fair, made a speech at the StoryDrive China conference on May 30.
[Photo by Fan Zhen/]

Su Tong, Founder and CEO of Hylink Advertising, showcased different advertising modes used over the past decade through short videos at the conference.
[Photo by Fan Zhen/]

Chow Keung (L), CEO of XStream Pictures and Alexander Ganz (R), executive partner of Ganz&Stock Germany, discussed the possible collaboration between movies and games.
[Photo by Fan Zhen/]

Frankfurt StoryDrive China gathered Chinese and international experts from the games, advertising and publishing industry on May 29 in Beijing to discuss how an interesting story can snowball to become a huge economic profit in the age of trans-media.

The two-day conference was first launched in 2010 as the Frankfurt Book Fair's all-media platform and made its debut this year in China as a part of China Beijing International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS).

"In a time of technological explosion, new media platforms are sprouting, but what remains unchanged is that we are a species that like telling each other stories and how to tell and sell the story becomes the key," said Holger Volland, vice president of Frankfurt Book Fair.

Volland's statement rings true for the Finland-based Rovio Entertainment Ltd, the creator of the globally popular Angry Birds franchise. The company has won over 120 million fans in China and said it would build theme parks and set up official stores in China in the near future.

"Many people have asked me how Rovio successfully swelled a simple game into an international entertainment business and even a global culture," Paul Chen, General Manager of Rovio China, said at the conference.

"It all boils down to one simple principle: we tell a story that everybody in the world can relate to, polish the details and keep improving it on the cross-media platforms," Chen said.

One of the platforms Chen talked about is animation. Rovio plans to develop a 50-episode cartoon series this year, selling the story of birds and pigs in a 360 degree way.

"What the emerging media platforms mean to us is that we have to make cross-media strategies in advance so that we can present our products in every possible way," Chen added.

Not only does the art of storytelling spin magic for the game industry, it also influences how advertising business works.

"In the past, advertisers tended to force-feed the audience in the traditional top-down manner," said Su Tong, Founder and CEO of Hylink Advertising. "Now, they prefer to pitch their products by telling an engaging story."

The importance of this shifting change in advertising, according to Su, is that it breaks the traditional one-way promotion mode and turns advertising into a fresh way of communication and interaction between the seller and the customer.

"Since new media like the Internet cut down the advertising costs for companies, providing contents such as advertisements through different media is a trend," Su said.

Lin Hua, vice president of Cloudary Corporation, agrees. "New productivity breeds new working force. Shanda Literature will launch electronic platforms for book reviewers in June, stimulating original online writers for fresh efforts."

China is the most in-demand market for expansion, but the cross-media business is still in its infancy. "The goal of StoryDrive China is to highlight the opportunities that already exist for cross-media collaboration and to discuss new ways for incorporating multimedia and thus creating added value," Britta Friedrich, project manager from Frankfurt Book Fair, said.

Although the 4,500-yuan entrance ticket has kept some audience members away, a total of 735 people attended the two-day event, according to the organizer.

"This cross-media panel provides us with a snapshot into the future of the media landscape," Wang Shuang from eBookHouse Culture said.