The Beauty Inside is an online social film created by Toshiba, Intel and creative agency Pereira & O’Dell, which aims to create an online experience where viewers become part of the story.
It is the second film from the trio of collaborators and follows the success of Inside, which ran online last year starring actress Emmy Rossum and generated a huge buzz (and lots of awards) for the companies involved.
The Beauty Inside follows the transmedia storytelling formula created for Inside and builds on it, it is an online “blockbuster quality” film, which merges technology, social media and Hollywood to create social entertainment.
The film will follow Alex, a man in his twenties who wakes up every day with a new body and face. On the inside he’s the same guy, but on the outside he’s a completely different person every day.
This is where the viewers come in, a global casting call launched last week giving online users the chance to play Alex, the main character in the film. Alex has a Toshiba notebook, which he documents his ever changing appearance with and keeps a personal journal on – this is the key to identifying him in each episode.
The film will be directed by Sundance award-winning director Drake Doremu, and stars Topher Grace, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and a cast of thousands, playing the lead role. It will debut on Facebook on 16 August and run for six weeks with weekly episodes.
Johan Jervoe, vice president partner marketing at Intel said: "This global social film is proof that the right technology can blend two major forms of entertainment and give a global audience the opportunity to be engaged and have a chance to play a role in a blockbuster-style Hollywood movie."
Carl Pinto vice president of marketing at Toshiba said: "The social film is prime example of Toshiba's commitment to leading innovation. Our goal is to extend our promise of creating products with a full suite of features and functionality that inspire creativity among a new generation of film and social media fans and engage with them via the online channels that they already use."
It's no suprise that Intel and Toshiba have again teamed up with agency Pereira & O’Dell to delve into a second social film. Inside was a huge success for the three collaborators, coined the birth of social Hollywood, Inside revealed there was a large appetite for immersive transmedia storytelling. Inside attracted a huge following, fans not only enjoyed the experience they begged for more, so the arrival of a second experience was always likely.
The strategy is to target the lucrative 18 - 24 year old target audience and create awareness around botht the Toshiba and Intel brand's and Toshiba's product line. The Beauty Inside takes its lead from Inside, which centered the action around the Toshiba laptop, in a bid to raise awareness and create interest in Toshiba's product in the hope of luring this Apple-obsessed audience. It's also aiming to align the brand with creativity - a hard task but it's certainly a step in the right direction.
This concept lives and dies by the quality of the storytelling and the immersion of the users. Inside was a mystery-thriller, users were drawn into the challenge of finding clues and becoming part of the solution. With The Beauty Inside, Toshiba is exploring its sensitive side with a more romantic take, it appears that this experience is about targeting young women and creating an emotional connection with the brands. The challenge for The Beauty Inside will be creating strong and compelling stories to capture and hold the audience attention for six weeks. This transmedia campaign has a lot to live up to and it will be one to watch as the story rolls out online and across social media. I'd like to see the stories expand across more channels this time around to create a broader experience.
The Beauty Inside takes transmedia storytelling into a fascinating place by literally immersing audiences into the experience. One to watch with interest.