In 2012, I saw these 3 trends emerging across the globe
1.) Lonely but connected (Connected Loneliness): Consumers with a massive friends list on FB but Living alone. The connected lonely syndrome. And why would they like to unplug from digital world and buy real life experiences.
2.) The Aware Consumer: Consumer who are seeking the whole truth, the ugly whole truth because they are powerful enough to handle the truth
3.) Seeking a Meaning: Consumers seeking to leave a positive foot print.
This article talks about the first point, “connected loneliness” and how this trend is picking up and will become more and more mainstream. I will explore the rest of the two trends later.
Lonely But Connected
Almost 60% of internet users, who lead a busy social media life, miss out on real life. They usually find themselves in a vicious circle where they were too busy for real life events and then the people around them moved on leaving them glued to their screens. Following is a snapshot of a detailed infographic.
Either too busy to be lonely, or too lonely to be free. This target segment is a very juicy niche for products that are offering relaxation in any shape or form.
Following are some examples that capitalized on these trends
Disconnect to Connect
When we become addicted to using the internet and mobile phones to interact, we neglect our loved ones and friends beside us. Thailand’s DTAC telecommunications (Telenor) company released a “Disconnect to Connect” advertisement campaign, telling us to cherish the people beside us.
Go On Facebook Diet or Unplug Yourself
There are books out there to help you get out of internet addiction the most noticeable being “The Facebook Diet” . Here are some thoughts of my favorite comic character ‘aunty acid’ on the connected lonely people.
Or maybe you can visit and read Fast Company’s thought on unplugging yourself from internet
Wi-Fi Free Zones
The most juicy target audience we ever had, i.e. ‘The mothers’ relate to this sentiment more deeply and quickly than anyone else. Pick any parenting book and you will notice that they are now talking about creating ‘Wi Fi free Zones’ in your houses to have meaningful time with your family. As “There is nothing that is more urgent than the real life I am living, every day.” (Abstract taken from “nurture parenting”)
Here is an example of what Kit Kat has done for the audience to appreciate their surroundings and can I just restate that this campaign was done by my ex-employer, JWT. One of the best agencies to work at 🙂
Here is an example of how Switzerland used data points to sell their “holidays without internet” to internet savvy people. This was done in 2011 imagine what can be done in 2013 when I.A.D (Internet addiction disorder) will be marked as a real disorder.
The ‘connected but lonely’ is a niche segment; anything directed to them cannot be mass so Customize. Customize as much as your category allows you.
1.) Call for action beyond clicks: Have a look at the Gold Winner at this years’ Cannes. Why this Ad was good? Because it had an insight and a call for action. Clicks on internet are meaningless if they aren’t backed by actions. Same goes for birthday wishes, get well messages and every other form of human interaction. Bring this fact back to the conscious level of your audience.
2.) Do we really have friends? How many of our digital friends are the ones with whom we will have coffee at least once a month? Offer your audiences to have meaningful social interactions. I am not sure how many BTL activities can be sponsored by a brand on these lines, but ATL opportunities and ambient media opportunities are humongous in this domain. Have a look at this Digital Detox Retreats site to have some ideas.
3.) Offer Happiness, be a friend: Did you know that the more the mind wanders, the less happy you are – here is a study that talks about this in detail. This means you would like to offer your audiences some tools (maybe an app) that offer Self-Control, Focus Booster and some short breaks. (The links are the links of the apps that can be sponsored by your brands). Happiness will not only come from apps- it will also come from a wake-up call or a memorable experience. Consider offering any of that. Be friends with your audiences, they need that.
In case you would like me to amend something above, please write to me or consider dropping a comment – that will make me very happy.