In today’s world, almost everything has become digital. The hundreds of millions of consumers out there are constantly and continuously exposed to brands that are trying to sell them a product or a service. While twenty years ago, consumers exposure to advertising and promotion was limited to the TV they watched, the magazines they read and the outdoor’s advertising they’d see while going for a drive,
today every single one of us walks around with a device that will bombard us, day in and day out, with advertising and promotion. So much so that we stopped noticing.
Personally, at my very humble level, I have tracked down a standard day activity:
– I receive on average 5 to 7 bulk sms messages without me asking for them: Uber, Deliveroo,Nightlubs, Restaurants, etc… you name it.
During important shopping seasons such as Christmas time, that number goes up to 15 messages a day.
– I go on Instagram about 7 to 10 times a day, every time for approximately 5 minutes or so.
Here’s is the breakdown:
o I follow 267 accounts, out of which 55 have the ‘blue tick’, meaning they are verified
o Almost every other post I see is promoting something
o After every 25-30 post, a ‘promotional’ post is shown to me, based on what I have ‘liked’ or commented on previously
– I spend on average 1 hour or so a day on YouTube, mostly on my smartphone, we all know how
much advertising we are exposed to!
So to make a long story short, it sometimes feel as if I was walking around with my TV in my pocket, constantly exposing me to the messages of advertisers. Only now, the advertising industry has become smarter and faster. If the algorithms know that I tend to ‘like’ or visit a specific type of content, say luxury timepieces, then that is the type of product that will be advertised to me.
Now here is the interesting thing. Increasing, these adverts, Instagram posts and other contents tend to focus more on the promise of lifestyle linked to the products than the products themselves. Let’s say you are a car manufacturer and you wish to build a communication campaign to increase your exposure to potential customers. It seems that advertisers will increasingly advise you to focus about everything around the car, but the car itself. Sure, I will be told somehow about the car’s performance, comfort components and other gadgets on it, but all of this will be packaged around the lifestyle that you and he advertisers have agreed to promote as the ‘ideal’ lifestyle of your perfect ‘customers’. If it’s a small SUV for instance, you will focus on the car ability to take me where I’ve never really been: Drives on the beaches, on sinuous mountain roads. The boot won’t be used for groceries, but instead, it’ll store my climbing gear and show me – the customer – as a svelte, thirty-something, good looking guy who goes hiking on the weekend. The dream is no longer the car, but the lifestyle you and your advertising agency want to sell.
Now specifically on the luxury industry, the product seems to be increasingly associated to the
customer’s experience, so much so that sometimes, the product IS the experience in itself.
What we mean here is that with some brands and in some industries, such as luxury timepieces, jewellery or high fashion, I am sold a product – sure – but I am also sold the potential promise of a life- altering experience. If you are a regular customer of a fashion-brand such as Givenchy or Chanel, then at some point, and after quite a lot of $$$$ spent with them, you get invited to a ‘client treatment’ experience. Imagine this, you get flown in to Paris regularly. Business or First Class s’il-vous-plait. You get to visit the ‘Haute Couture’ atelier. You stay in one of the most amazing Palace hotels in the city. You get to hang out with other people of your level of finesse and good taste (we don’t talk about financial power, it’s not classy). You get to attend the super exclusive catwalk with the likes of Rihanna, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie. This IS the experience you have been purchasing all these years. You have arrived.