Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Brands Need Face-To-Face Connection

The MEGA World of Lil Mogul
by Lil Mogul

We live in the most hyper-connected time in the country's history; and yet we exist in a constant state of disconnection. While Apple, BlackBerry, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Match.com, Fresh Direct, and Amazon are well-designed, convenient and address specific needs and for the most part work well; they are also responsible for the undeniable in-personal interactions we used to take for granted during the course of a regular day.

I live in Harlem and I'm always amused by watching teens walking down the street with their friends while texting and talking on their cell phones rather than with each other! How is this younger demographic, armed to the teeth with all the technologically advanced connectivity tools, going to cope and interact as responsible adults? Poorly, I contend. Facebook, Twitter, MySpace? -- "Social" networks that do not require you to engage in any kind of human socialization. Apple? -- Creators of the iMac, the iPod, the iPhone and iTouch. I do not think it too crazy to say that we are in the midst of a dreadful away of human interaction that could seriously impact people's ability to truly "connect" with one another.

We've already seen the emergence of dieting coaches, dating coaches, life coaches. Now, people will pay many thousands of dollars to attend "Unplugged Retreats." Eventually, the pendulum will swing the other way, back toward more personal/human connections. And the brands that get that will be winners. I believe the brands that do not emphasize ultra-modern design, trendy badge value or blow-your-mind technological innovation as their core vision -- but rather emphasize the value of person-to-person, real live human interaction -- are the ones that will ascend and maintain leadership positions in the long run.

This trend may already be happening. One company that is already starting to apply that thinking is Macy’s. Macy's "Come Together" cause-marketing campaign scores points for teaming up with Feed America to provide 10 million meals for local food banks. With the tagline "The Great American Dinner Party," the retailer is encouraging people across the country to participate by having some friends over for a dinner party/fundraiser -- and just simply enjoy each other's company.

Macy's will match the contributions raised by each party. Television commercials for the campaign feature celebs such as Martha Stewart, Usher, Jessica Simpson, Tommy Hilfiger, Donald Trump, and Queen Latifah enjoying their own dinner party after hours inside Macy's Herald Square.

Old School? Yes. But in this day and age, also kind of revolutionary.
So, I invite all of my friends and business associates to join The Future every Saturday starting November 28th for the Saturday Experience at Desire Lounge, 45 West 8th Street, West Village, NYC for some Face-to-Face time. STAY CONNECTED and discover new friends. We are calling them OFFLINE EVENTS.

We have a preview offline event this Saturday, November 14th at Desire at 10pm, The Future, Nubian Dreams, Fela and Brother/Sister plays attendees are all inviting you to join us.

1 comment:

trixie said...

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I agree that while technological advances provide us with a great degree of luxury, it also makes it harder to connect on a personal level. Parents and educators must now work even harder to teach children, who abbreviate everything due to the approximate 140 word twitter/text messaging limits, how to form complete sentences.

My inboxes are overflowing with invitations to this or that event. Everyone is hustling a cause or a party or a movement but they rarely get out to support their peers who are doing the same. Something is seriously wrong when we can have over 1,000 "friends" and not 10 of them will actually get offline and out to a "face to face" event.

With every step forward via technology, we have to work harder to stay connected to our humanity and remember what true community cannot thrive on the internet alone.




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