Transmedia Critical| Advertising the Yellow Brick Road: Historicizing the Industrial Emergence of Transmedia Storytelling

Matthew Freeman



Tracing the industrial emergence of transmedia storytelling—typically branded a product of contemporary media convergence—this article provides a historicized intervention on the configuration of transmedia storytelling in U.S. culture at the turn of the 20th century. I draw on L. Frank Baum’s Land of Oz storyworld and its multiple texts and promotional tie-ins as a case study for revealing how the industrial rise of transmedia storytelling can be recontextualized as a cultural product of early-20th-century modern advertising. The article maps the ways in which Baum engineered Oz stories transmedially at this time according to broader slippages between content and promotion across platforms.


Transmedia; Mass Culture; Advertising; Narrative; Cross-Promotion; Land of Oz

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