Analogue Appeal in a Digital World: The Value of Live Events

 Guests post an Instagram picture from inside "The Infinity Mirrored Room"

Guests post an Instagram picture from inside "The Infinity Mirrored Room"

While we’re living in an increasingly digital world, the best way to engage with your customers is still through real human connections. From immersive events to instagrammable museum exhibitions, brands need to do more than just post pretty pictures online. Because there's so much noise competing for your audience's attention, brands need to be thoughtful of the real person behind the social media post. You need to create moments that not only jump off the screen to make people wish they were there but at the same time also make them feel a connection to the event. Let’s take a look at some examples of more human ways to connect with customers amidst the digital deluge.

Take for example, American fashion brand Rag & Bone, who eschewed the traditional fashion formula and stopped doing runway shows at New York Fashion Week. Instead, they opted for a more analogue approach to celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary and put on an exhibition of huge Polaroids featuring more than 70 “friends of the brand” (ranging from Thom Yorke of Radiohead to Super Model Joan Smalls) dressed in clothes they liked from Rag & Bone’s new autumn/winter 2017 collection.  The installation still showed off the clothes, but in a more relatable vehicle that allowed customers to immerse themselves into the Rag & Bone world.  Rag & Bone estimates that the brand received US$2 million to US$3 million worth of content from the photo exhibition – proof of value in physical exhibitions and in doing things differently.

If you’ve been on Instagram in the last year you probably have seen your friends totally spaced out, in photos, that is, taken within the Infinity Mirrored Room.  Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room, is a mirror-lined chamber that houses a dazzling and seemingly endless LED light display. Kusama, a Japanese artist, may have created one of the most instagrammed art exhibit in America.  Guests would step into the chamber and for 45 seconds seem to be immersed in an endless dimension of space and light - all while fumbling for their phones so they can immortalize the brief experience forever on social media. It’s a great example of how a simple art installation is able to connect multitudes of people, who experienced it live, through social media.

I also have to give props where it’s due to the Museum of Ice-cream. This Los Angeles-based installation gives adults, and children alike, moments of pure inspiration and joy as guests dive into pools of sprinkles or snapped photos in front of the rainbow sherbet wall.  Even celebs, like Beyonce and Katy Perry, got in on the action because the museum took food that everyone enjoys, and turned it into a cultural movement.  The real life experience of immersing yourself in ice-cream gave birth to a plethora of posts on people’s walls. 

So when you’re strategizing your next marketing campaign, think also of the extended reach that live events can bring.  The Rosta+Tann team are pros when it comes to not only producing live experiences but also strategically mining meaningful content from those moments of human connection. The investment into a single moment can live beyond the event itself through content that speaks to your audience, providing a lasting connection that can convert them into customers.  Now that’s the true value of event marketing.

 

The Democratization of Fashion

 A Screen Grab From Kenzo's Perfume Video

A Screen Grab From Kenzo's Perfume Video

Like the music business before it, fashion is going through an industry-wide tidal shift.  From battling the “see now buy now” trend to finding relevancy within a younger demographic, the industry has been undergoing dramatic change.  In the midst of this upheaval, fashion brands from across the spectrum are questioning why they should follow established paths. 

It used to be a simple formula that fashion houses always held runway shows during fashion week, with waif-like models trotting out the seasons’ latest styles to a room of exclusive insiders. But as Instagram and mobile phones have democratized the runway, it became more difficult for brands to have a voice when everyone has something to say about the collection. No longer does the general public have to wait for editors to provide their opinions on the clothes in monthly glossies - now anyone can check into Instagram to catch nearly-live feeds of the look of the season.  Also, these days, anyone can make a piece of content or comment on the collection, which means anyone can be a fashion editor.  

The key is creating a meaningful connection between brands and their customer base. Creating video content, especially in the form of creative short films, is a great way to tell your brands’ story without cloying advertising.  

Ermenegildo Zegna created a short film, directed by Francesco Carrozzini, with Robert De Niro and McCaul Lombardi talking about “defining moments” in their career and lives, of course while donning ever-so-dapper Zegna clothes.   Prada shot a funny short called A Therapy (2012), directed by Roman Polanski and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley.  Prada clothes were like secondary characters in the film, taking a turn in the storyline just as much as the actors themselves.  

For us mere mortals, however, you don’t always need A-list talent or big budgets to make an impact.  Sometimes all it takes is a little creative subversion and a killer music cue to make some noise.  French luxury house, Kenzo did just that for their new perfume, which seeks to connect to a younger audience.  While other fashion houses are rolling out glossy images of the same faces, this is how you breathe new life into an established luxury brand:

These short films all feel like small coups of cool, innovative brand building. Because they are so far removed from regular fashion commentary, they come across more like an inside joke between the brand and its fans. Meaningful connections are really about “authenticity” and “relatability” – two words of great importance in communicating your brand today.

The team at Rosta+Tann understand the tenets of creating great content to forge meaningful connections.  Let us help you elevate your brand’s message.

Conspicuous Consumption is Out, Intangibles are the New Luxury

For as long as we can remember, designer bags, expensive watches, and other material objects were paraded around as indicators of social position and status.  But as luxury goods become cheaper and easier to produce, we’re seeing the arrival of a middle-class consumer market that demands more material goods at cheaper price points.

This democratization of consumer goods has made so-called luxury items less useful as a status symbol. Since everyone can now buy designer handbags and fancy cars, the rich have taken to more subtle signifiers of their social position. Yes, the superrich still show off their wealth with yachts and Bentleys and gated mansions, but the dramatic changes in spending come from what’s called the ‘aspirational class’. 

This ‘aspirational class’ shows off status by prizing knowledge, building cultural capital, and they spend accordingly – preferring experiences, services, education and human-capital investments over purely material goods. Rejecting flashy materialism, the rich are investing significantly more in education, retirement and wellness – all of which are immaterial, but cost more than any handbag a middle-income consumer might buy. 

While this inconspicuous consumption is extremely expensive, it shows itself through other ways like reading The Economist, buying pasture-raised eggs, or sending the kids to private preschool (and packing their lunch bags with kale and fruit instead of packaged snacks).  For the aspirational class, inconspicuous consumption choices secure a certain social status, even if they don’t outwardly display it.

Take for example Gwyneth Paltrow’s wellness lifestyle company GOOP. This past weekend, over 600 guests paid between $500-$1500 to attend the company’s first wellness summit.  The price of admission included access to a day’s journey worth of services like intravenous hydration drips, crystal therapy, and even a photograph of your aura.  While many are chasing Birkin bags, the aspirational class are transforming themselves.

It seems like the ultimate luxury really is investment in one’s self.

Learn more about inconspicuous consumption here.  To see more GOOPiness, click here.

Cannabis Creates More Jobs

By now, it’s no surprise that the cannabis industry is poised for explosive growth.  By some estimates, the rate of return on investments in the cannabis industry are comparably higher than they were even at the peak of the dot-com boom. To see how much impact the marijuana industry will have on the economy, let’s take a look at the jobs it creates. 

According to a new study by Marijuana Business Daily, legal cannabis currently employs between 165,000-230,000 full and part-time workers. This estimate includes both plant-touching companies and ancillary companies like marketing, media, publishing, staffing, software etc.

Putting this in perspective, there are more workers in the cannabis industry than there are bakers or massage therapists in the United States. As more and more executives from other industries join the fray, the economic impact of the marijuana plant will be even greater.  According to Forbes.com, the cannabis industry is projected to create more jobs than manufacturing by 2020.  

Check out the fact book here

4 Steps to Building a Great Brand

IMG_3695.JPG

Barry Meguiar transformed the car care business by tapping into a passionate fanbase. As president of ‘Meguiar’s’ and star of Car Crazy Central, Barry breaks down his four-step process to building brand loyalty with a marketing plan that works for any entrepreneur, regardless of ad budget.

  1. Differentiate Yourself:  Develop your brand’s unique story
  2. Drive Awareness: Share your story with your target audience
  3. Build a Community: Nurture the audience that is most passionate for your brand
  4. Inspire Advocacy: Provide real solutions to earn lifetime value and loyalty

Custom content is a great way to build your brand throughout any of these four phases.  Rosta+Tann have the passion and skills to help weave your brand story through beautiful content and build a valuable audience in the process.

Watch the full interview at entrepreneur.com

Choosing Cannabis Over Ice Cream

I scream! You scream!  We all scream for ice cream but it looks like the demand for cannabis may be even louder.  

According to Forbes, the explosive growth in the marijuana industry could outpace some of America’s favorite things to spend money on like snacks, music, and movies.  

But as more people are buying cannabis, shouldn’t sales of those other things get a bump too?  Just asking. :)

The team at Rosta+Tann have worked with top brands in various categories like food, beverage, movies, music and more.  We know how to make brands stand out in the noise.

Check out the full article at forbes.com