‘We really enjoyed doing the extracurricular transmedia stuff’How I Met Your Mother and the beginnings of transmedia in the sitcom genre

  1. Víctor Álvarez-Rodríguez
  2. Lucía Caro-Castaño
  3. David Selva-Ruiz
Catalan journal of communication & cultural studies

ISSN: 1757-1898

Year of publication: 2024

Volume: 16

Issue: 1

Pages: 45-61

Type: Article


More publications in: Catalan journal of communication & cultural studies


The sitcom How I Met Your Mother (2005–14) applies a narrative with a transmedia perspective, using advertising techniques that had been unusual for its genre up to that point. We refer to the reverse product placement tool as a technique to expand the narrative in a ground-breaking way through books apparently written by one of the characters in the series. This study explores the communicative dimensions applied by its developers through an exploratory-descriptive methodology that offers a qualitative analysis. We conduct a bibliographic study alongside an exclusive interview with the co-creator of the series, Carter Bays. Consequently, our study dissects the communicative process from a semantic and advertising perspective with an international reach. Finally, the results identify a paradigmatic case that takes advantage of the communicational context to build a transmedia narrative, giving rise to an intertextual and parasocial interpretation.

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