Saul Goodman became a popular character in the AMC series Breaking Bad as the notorious “criminal” lawyer. So popular in fact that a website was created to advertise his fictional law practise. www.bettercallsaul.com
The website’s most important function is as a hypertext media extension. According to Janet Murray, hypertext is “a set of documents”, in this case a website, that contains multiple hyperlinks that branch out into different pages of a website that lead to all types of information (Murray 55). Bettercallsaul.com branches off into sections that offer links to webisodes, E-cards you can send to people, and a link that directs viewers to the official AMC website for the series Better Call Saul as well as a link to the Breaking Bad website savewalterwhite.com. On this particular Breaking Bad website there is a donate button and if anyone clicks the button it directs them to the AMC Breaking Bad website.
The many webisodes linked on the website include a few minor characters from Breaking Bad who talk about how Saul Goodman helped them win their case, other webisodes are advertisements for Saul’s business. Two of these webisodes take content from Breaking Bad, such as the plane crash and one of the minor characters arrests, and expands the depth of these particular scenes by adding the characters views of the situation that were otherwise not included in the actual show Breaking Bad.
All these features offered on the website are examples of world-building, which Henry Jenkins defines as content that adds additional story and information to characters and other elements of the fictional setting of the narrative. Two more examples of this are the phone number given on the website and an ad in the Albuquerque yellow pages for not specifically the show, but the attorney Saul Goodman. The only direct link to the show on the advertisement is the phone number, which is actually functional. If you call the number you get a voice message from Saul Goodman who directs you to his website.
These elements that draw people’s attention to the transmedia extensions and ultimately the show itself are what Jenkins calls cultural attractors, which he defines as anything that draws people to a franchise. Cultural attractors are probably one of the more important transmedia extensions because their primary purpose is to bring in an audience to view a companies product. Once an audience is obtained then the company can focus on creating an extensive transmedia network in order to maintain a steady fanbase.
Dykes, Brett Michael. “Behold, The Saul Goodman Yellow Pages Ad.” Uproxx. Word Press, 25 June 2012. Web.
Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. Henry Jenkins, 22 Mar. 2007. Web.
Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York City: The Free Press, A Division of Simon and Schuster Inc., 1997. PDF.