In an article published in PwC’s strategy+business magazine, Frank Rose from the Columbia University School of the Arts takes a stand for real experiences in today’s marketing.
In The Power of Immersive Media he explains how the most successful enterprises don’t just sell product but sell an experience. To him, the highest goal of today’s marketing is immersion – the moment the audience forgets that it’s an audience at all. “Immersion blurs the lines – between story and marketing, storyteller and audience, illusion and reality. That gives it enormous impact.”
The time when brand marketers and entertainment executives could dictate what people see, hear, and think is long past, if it ever existed at all. Now they invite people into their world and hope enough will stay to make the effort worthwhile. “Fantasy,” Tolkien wrote, “is a natural human activity.” But like Tinker Bell, it can survive only so long as people believe. When the spell is broken, the audience snaps back to reality. The job of the 21st-century marketer is to make sure that does not happen.