There is growing evidence that consumers are becoming less interested in conspicuous consumption. From Millennials, who are (sometimes unwillingly) slow to launch their own independent households to Baby Boomers who are downsizing into smaller, more urban locations to the growing impact of Mari Kondo’s KonMari method of decluttering - living with less is an important new cultural trend.
Coupled with this trend away from consumption of stuff is the trend toward using our time and money for Experiences. You can look to social media - when was the last time a friend shared an image of a new purchase, such as a car or house? Yet our newsfeeds are full of pictures of exotic trips, restaurant visits, concerts and sporting events.
The new campaign from Groupon highlights this insight. The TV ads compare the “Haves” and their mansions full of gaudy stuffy and the “Have-Dones” who are engaged in life through experiences like sky-diving, dining out, getting spa treatments or visiting a fun-park. In a press release for the campaign launch, Vinayak Hegde, Groupon’s CMO highlighted that this new focus is based on research findings that experiences been scientifically proven to make consumers happier.
Two immediate takeaways from the new campaign:
Instigated by the frenzy of commercials and promotions, shoppers often wonder “am I getting the best deal?” In a tongue-in-cheek campaign, appliance retailer hhgregg captured this anxiety as FOBO (Fear of Better Offers.) Zimmerman, the agency behind the campaign, said the idea came from “research that found millennials currently experience feelings of fear that better options may exist elsewhere.” hhgregg is positioned as the solution.
And for those who prefer to shop Cyber Monday? As noted in last week’s NYTimes, new apps like ShopSavvy allow users to compare prices for items in brick & mortar retailers versus Amazon and other online outlets “ all in search of the best deal.”
Some questions for marketers:
While the world’s elite athletes are competing for medals in Rio de Janeiro, a battle for viewers is being waged by cable and broadcast networks, social media and streaming platforms.
One of the key properties Comcast gained with its 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal was the rights to air the Olympics games in the US. And now Comcast, through its Xfinity cable subsidiary is leveraging new platforms and apps to engage subscribers with Olympics content. As cord-cutting increases, Comcast is looking to upgrade current subscribers as well as entice new users with exclusive Olympics content available only through their partnership with the USOC. NBCUniversal now has an exhaustive schedule of Olympics viewing across NBC, MSNBC, Telemundo, USA, Bravo and more through the X1 application.
In a bid to reach cord-cutters and mobile users, Google has dispatched YouTube stars such as Liza Koshy, Brodie Smith, Ben Brown, Caeli, Chloe Morello and Felipe Castanhari to livestream parts of the games and special events in host city Rio. Google is leveraging content from these Creators into search, maps and mobile applications to increase engagement. YouTube is also offering subscribers an IOC channel to increase visibility beyond US-centric users.
Not to be left out of the mobile/streaming wars, Facebook and Instagram have partnered with NBC to create a Social Media Command Center with access to NBC commentators and behind-the-scenes video.
Early reports indicate that live viewership for the Olympics is down versus the 2012 London Games. Some are faulting excessive commercial breaks and ongoing concerns about Rio’s preparedness for the games. But with so many options, are viewers choosing to engage with the 2016 Olympic Games in other ways rather than just live TV?
Some thoughts for marketers:
Cheryl A. Seraile is a Brand Marketing Maven, with a passion for uncovering new trends and insights about consumers, demographics, culture and the world.