Monday, December 10, 2012
This post is an event. Interact with it NOW. *UPDATE: Now with LIVE kittens*
"An unprecedented three-day television event, following music's most enigmatic star," said Voiceover Guy as he introduced a Nicki Minaj fly-on-the-wall documentary screened on E! recently.
Aside from Voiceover Guy being wrong at least twice in that sentence, I did enjoy the use of the word 'event'. And then this happened...
"Casting Creme Gloss from L'Oreal. Join us on YouTube for our live hair colour event on December 18th," said Voiceover Lady at the end of an ad for hair dye.
OK. So I'm watching an unprecedented event and being invited to an event? Wow, I'm excited! Then I remember the email I got from Apple a couple of weeks ago...
"The one-day Apple shopping event is Friday 23 November. Get ready to give. We'll help you make the most of the day, no matter how you shop," said the flyer.
Another event? I love events! It makes me feel part of something real, in real time. There's nothing as good as experiencing a feeling while lots of other people feel the same thing at the same time. Do you feel the same?
All these events got me thinking. There is definitely a trend for events at the moment. And I think it's coming from a lack of shared experience. Think about it - how often do we all experience moments and emotions at the same time?
On-demand, time-shifted TV has killed the excitement we all used to feel about the big shows. Twitter is bringing a bit of that back, but a fun night hammering a hashtag is the exception rather than the rule.
At the same time, 'viral' video is not simultaneous. Yes, Gangnam Style went viral (and then memetic) very quickly, but we didn't all the see the video at the same time. Passalong was quick, but it still happened as a chain reaction.
Even shopping isn't done in the same way, thanks to e-commerce. I gawped with horror at the Black Friday craziness, but am pretty confident that most of us just sat on our sofa and ordered from Amazon.
Our ability to consume content at any time and on any device has taken away a dimension from viewing - we might be watching Doctor Who? on the bus, or catching up on I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! in the middle of the night, but we're doing it on our time and nobody else's.
Which is why events are so hot right now. Just like the rise of the cinemas at the start of the 20th Century, which gave people the thrill of seeing a film at the same time, the human desire for shared experience is pushing us back towards *scheduled* moments.
It's up to you whether those moments contain a rapper swearing about random things, someone dying their hair live on YouTube, or a visit to your friendly local Apple store.
Whatever your preference, sharing is even better in real time. And my prediction for 2013 is that events are only going to get hotter.
See you there?