Shared Moments in the Age of Proximity

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The Power of Music Experiences

The smartphone’s arrival more than a decade ago has shifted the culture, changing how we interact and connect with one another. According to Viacom Velocity’s Culture of Proximity research study, the nature of shared experiences is evolving. Audiences seek out experiences that reflect their beliefs and values, they plan outfits and social media captions before attending events, and believe that live events are an important part of their life story.  This opens up new opportunities for brands.

Robin Thede, comedian and producer, sat down to chat with Maya Peterson, Senior Director on the culture & creative insights team at Viacom Velocity, Justin Bolognino, Founder & CEO of META, and Nick Catchdubs, Co-Founder of Fool’s Gold, about the power of experiences in our culture of proximity.

The Culture of Proximity introduced the audience to the idea that we are closer than ever to one another, as we are always connected through digital and social media. There is more interactivity between audiences and mass media, opening up a window for brands to make an impact on consumers at the right place.

We are additionally witnessing the development of crowd culture – the culture we all create together, especially at events such as music festivals or concerts. Crowd culture can be encountered digitally or physically at events with actual crowds. People are also sharing experiences through the lens of smartphones and social media.

Bolognino said that the culture of proximity is not only about experience, but also participants – young people seek to have participatory experiences that are memorable and able to be captured. Shared moments together are the most memorable.

Another element to consider, according to Catchdubs, is that the best part of an experience is discovery. People want to discover new artists, technology, ways of thinking, trends, songs, and places. In fact, 72% of millennials say that for an experience to be amazing, they have to learn something new. Our favorite moments come from the unexpected.

The giant caution sign, according to the panelists, is that people can tell when a brand holding an experience comes across as insincere. According to the panelists, authenticity is key. Bolognino’s work at META revolves around brands involving experiences, and he contends that the best brand events enable people to express themselves and provide the tools to create the experience. Examples of this include photo booths, flower walls, and “instagrammable” scenes that provide young people with the tools to express themselves. Dedicated social media areas help relieve anxiety, as attendees won’t have to worry about capturing the perfect picture for social media.

Brands can take advantage of the culture of proximity by creating experiences that are genuine, prioritize the consumer, and enable true creativity.

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