In 2018...

We were seeing a lot of immersive technologies such as VR & AR and how it can be used to enhance reality.

In 2019...

We talked about different formats and new augmented experiences – signalling that our digital behavior has matured.

Curation & limitation

Having reached a certain level of digital maturity, living in, and being used to, an era of connectivity and infinite choice, consumers and recipients are changing expectations and becoming more receptive to information in new formats.

In order to cut through the noise and earn trust in distrustful times, selection becomes imperative. Too many choices can feel overwhelming, and the value of what we consume tend to decrease – meaning instead that the value of curation skyrockets. By communicating scarcity, you can give the perception of a more well-selected content and, consequently, quality.

Gwyneth Paltrow spoke about how the customer is the core of her company goop, whose whole business basically is based on curation over many domains. Building fewer things, but better, is a key to success.

Founders of the new entertainment platform Quibi argue that we are often handed music, movies and TV-shows in a selected, curated way – but for information, we still have to search and are presented an incomprehensible mass of options. Something that they are determined to change.

Historically we look for finite. Our brains are programmed to look for things that end.

- Neil Pasricha, author, entrepreneur, public speaker

Timing is everything

While traditional novels come in chapters of 20-40 pages (a 30-minute read), the “Da Vinci Code” was unique in its style of five-page chapters (a 5-minute read). The author’s rationale was that people have time constraints, and so presented them with the book in a way they preferred to consume it.

By targeting the consumer within new time frames, in more convenient ways, and meeting them where you previously have not can be beneficial. Quibi targets users between “7 and 7” (note: 7 am and 7 pm) with an enhanced video experience on mobile, speaking to consumers in a new domain, in a new way.

This can also be powerful through audio, as that only requires the attention of one of our senses as opposed to video. Podcast producer Gimlet created a toothbrushing experience for children, taking advantage of the universal 2-minute activity by providing an ongoing series of episodes through Alexa. Thereby finding a unique way into their consumers’ every day.

Curated content in a non-traditional time slot

Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg introducted Quibi, which is targeting their customers between 7 and 7 with a highly curated content video content, meeting their users at a new timeslot with a new product

The power of storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool to make us believe. Rohit Bhargava shared some examples of how greatly executed storytelling has been used as powerful marketing tools, for which audio and voice are relevant formats. With the rise in voice-activated devices and digital assistant, we are in the second golden age of audio. Just as most brands have elaborate visual style guides for how they act and communicate, there is now a need for brands to develop audio style guides.

This also becomes increasingly important with the evolution of podcasts, where more were created in 2018 than any year before, signaling a potential for the market of voice-based marketing. For a successful voice and storytelling experience companies should keep in mind why people like to listen; they like being told a story, learn something new and the idea of companionship (people simply want someone to hang out with).

As a storyteller you have a powerful way to reach consumers, marketing and advertising needs to utilize this. As a listener, you are cocreating the experience by hearing the sender’s voice allowing you to imagine them in your head.

Ads should not feel like ads but should instead add to the experience which is why brands need to speak in a voice that relates to consumers and puts them in a desirable state.

Blurred lines

Dawn Ostroff, Chief Content Officer of Spotify, say that over time, 20% of what is available on Spotify will be non-music content, and that today those who listen to podcasts spend twice as much time on the platform. Spotify recently acquired Anchor, a podcast-creating tool, and Gimlet, a podcast producer, which allows for creation and curation, meaning that more people than ever before can create, monetize on and discover relevant podcasts – creating a transformational entertainment experience.

Quibi aims to work together with all the major production companies to develop content and thus not compete with other kind of streaming services, combining formats, genres and segments.

The DJ Marshmello hosted the first ever live virtual concert inside the video game Fortnite, which resulted in more than 10 million spectators and a huge demand for his merchandise and music.

The above examples illustrate how breaking traditional formats can allow a brand to reach existing customers more effectively and also to find new, untapped, customer segments. The success of such campaigns signals a new level of digital maturity – where users are more receptible to new and converging formats, and companies can move between online and offline in new ways. This creates a new playing field for consumer-interactions.

Creating a new scene


DJ Marsmello held a live concert in the video game Fortnite, drawing more than 10 million attendees

[thrive_lead_lock id='2345']Hidden Content[/thrive_lead_lock]

SXSW is one of the biggest digital conferences in the world, and a global meeting place for the world’s most innovative technology companies and people interested in how disruption can transform their business and everyday lives. The event takes place during during 10 days each year and this year Cartina had the chance to be part of it.

This series consists of 6 global mega trends that business leaders, experts, innovators and disruptors talked about during the days in Austin.

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