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Content Transformations: Experiential & Immersive

By: Natalie Dold, Partner: Future Colossal

Even back in '99 visionaries, like Pine & Gilmore (of The Experience Economy), understood our economy was heading towards marketing experiences that are way more than cheesy product placements and your "average" commercial... 
Pine and Gilmore rightly pointed out (all the way back in 1999) that business products and services are 
"...no longer being consumed on the basis of their availability, price and quality but are now also being
evaluated based on the experience with which they will provide the consumer; we are consequently moving towards an era where designer products and logos count for less than exclusive services and
memorable experiences." 
Now, let's put this into context today, meaning right now on Oct. 28, 2015. Content, that is content that goes beyond social posts, beyond a normal video, beyond a visual that is funny (and probably has as cat in it), needs to be taken to the next level... so what does "taking content beyond" mean? 
I am talking about Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality; on the go, at events, in a package coming to the target audiences' "doorstep" is what I am talking about. It's like Matrix in your face, and that's true immersion and what we're talking about in terms of getting experiential
Currently, even though Facebook bought Oculus Rift, not every home across the globe has one of these crazy looking devices sitting around the living rooms/bedrooms-- yet. But, the great thing for brands is that you can bring this experience to your audiences (when it makes business and marketing sense) via all kinds of methods (think Google Cardboard as an example). 
As a marketer that is tasked with leading and building sound marketing strategies (and executing on those), where do you find such niche technologists and artists that can really build something that has impact, is amazing, immersive, arouses emotions to drive target audiences to act, and is a perfect fit for your brand? Let's be real. There are are tons of people who say they "do experiential stuff" but after going to tons of events and meeting people and doing research, the truth of the matter is that it's a rare breed of human who has the brain to actually pull this stuff off. 
I am happy to report that I have found those people, and they're two major risk-taking folks who started their own firm in NYC called Future Colossal. And, they're strategic partners now so that I don't have to go searching for the right fit for this cool stuff again. I am not saying they're the *only* ones, but what I am saying is that they're perfect from my checkoff list of what these type of partners need to be and the right people who can actually implement it without a brand breaking their budget and never getting it right. Trusted and vetted is the point.
Let's dig into what an example of this awesome content experience could be like (just to serve as an example)...
Imagine this, you're throwing an event or sending a packaged piece of "something cool" via snail mail to your target audiences door, and you want to take what that something is up a notch and take that experience to the next level. You give out Google Cardboards, you put up Oculus stations, you build an on-brand VR piece (360 video... etc.), and let people dive into your brand in ways they never imagined. That's cool sh*t in my book. Not everyone is thinking in this manner, so maybe it's time to take some risks? 
From Future Colossal's content samples we can dig into what this is a bit further, but the below is just a POC to view and let you imagine the possibilities when you insert your top service/product, whatever it may be that you're selling, and thinking about how to build out this kind of strategy (that's where I can come in and bring this team to build it).
"During the experience, you’ll be fully immersed in different themed environments, some pass through, others stop and walk, swim, or fly around. The current twelve scenes vary from asteroid fields in outer space to underwater with whales to elephant stampedes, even base-jumping off a Hong Kong building. We’ll continue to add-on to the piece as an ever-evolving artwork, eventually integrating additional peripherals such as scent emitters, EEG, fans, and body tracking." 
It's the future, but it is here now. And, there is so much to explore on this, and you should not automatically think that it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to do something awesome either. I mean everything can be scaled up or down in this kind of world.
To explore the video and what this "feels" like, please check it out further here on Future Colossal's site. 
We should talk if this sounds like the risk-taking kind of adventure you want to take your content on and explore some really amazing possibilities! Natalie@teamgu.com 
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