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afk vs. flattened reality

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away from keyboard / in real life 

From an IRL and experiential existence in a marketplace to a sudden re-wiring of daily habits, the consumer landscape has been wading through turbulent waters. As creatives and marketers began to wrap their head around the idea of the experience economy, the global pandemic has nearly affected every aspect of AFK/IRL experiences.

With possibly the only time in our lifetime where we can observe the entire customer experience journey in a vacuum, we explore the effects of a flattened reality that is being lived on screen. How will IRL experiences reconfigure and reconstitute itself in the months and years to come? Will retail, wellness, hospitality and culture return to its previous value system, a hybrid format or never at all?

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COVID-19 pushes up internet use 70% and streaming more than 12%

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Most of the recent activity has been largely a hit or miss - clearly a responsive approach on the part of brands to soldier on and deliver digital experiences to drive the bottom line.

This may be a considerable hurdle many industries are looking to overcome in the coming months to return to their glory days. We take a look at activities that were once conducted live but are now actually preferred online by millennial and gen Z audiences.

key takeaway

What’s at the greatest deficit in our current crisis of experience is a holistic sense of activation. Young consumers lament that restaurant- quality food doesn’t work without the restaurant, and that “virtual” versions of things like concerts feel more unfulfilled than simply listening to music. “you can’t rage with 20,000 people from your couch” rings very true.

What’s gone in this moment is chance, and all of those other works that can only be described with magical language. It’s therefore surprising but not shocking that the data suggests an overwhelming desire to leave their rooms for something spontaneous and unplanned. Something which our flattened lives in front of a screen has still not been able to deliver.

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