Will 2011 be the year we get back to our real senses?
January 14, 2011 | Inga Rundquist
The Kent State Folk Festival created a small ripple in the advertising world late last year when it released its print campaign to promote the annual event.
Advertisements featured headlines like, "Let your memory download the music for a change," and "Clapping your hands when you like a band is way better than clicking some like button."
While the message of the campaign seemed a little hypocritical (given the festival operates YouTube, Twitter and Flickr accounts) the organizers aren’t the only ones who have tried to connect with consumers by spreading this type of anti-technology message.
Have you seen the TV spots for the new Windows 7 phone? The campaign’s overarching message, "It’s time for a phone to save us from our phone,” and creative execution poke fun at our obsession with constantly being connected and in the loop.
"Suicide Machine” is another example. The app will eliminate most traces of your social media life. Just give it your passwords and watch it totally purge your social-media accounts at Facebook, LinkedIn and other such sites.
More and more media outlets are publishing stories about the downfalls of Web 2.0, detailing how sites like Facebook have gobbled up lives, productivity and grades. (Take this New York Times article, for example.)
We’re not surprised this message is heating up the airwaves.
Although technology will continue to evolve, we predict that 2011 will bring a shift in communications that will literally move us back to reality (wow – haven’t thought of that song in a while).
Well, for one, communication has gotten much worse since we have stopped looking into people’s eyes or hearing their voice when we talk to them. The fire in our little marketing hearts get a little dimmer every time we read "ttyl,” "brb” or "lmao” in an email or Facebook status update. When did it become normal to "talk” like this?
Also – we believe that people miss experiencing the world with their own senses – as opposed to the fingers on their keyboard. After all – what’s better: Gathering with friends (around a cracklin’ fire) and catching up in real life, or on Facebook?
So, what (you may wonder) does all this mean for marketers?
Brands can serve as facilitators of more human activities and interactions by emphasizing the face-to-face connections. If you have a brick and mortar store front, create a "third space” that’s both about shopping and interacting with others. If you’re only online, find ways to inject personal interactions into your business model.
Of course none of this means that technology will completely disappear from our lives. We’re simply saying that its use will shift.
What do you think? Is 2011 the year we get back to our real senses?
Inga Rundquist is a Public Relations Arsonist and Co-Owner at MindFire. When she’s not dreaming up ideas that will generate publicity, you can find her knee deep in the social media world, also known as the next PR frontier.
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