Carat Connect: Metro & The Experience Economy
This month’s Carat Connect focused on the trend of finding happiness and status in experiences over material possessions. This ‘Experience Economy’, Metro said, gives a sense of grand theory, but it’s actually very simple; a lot of us in the room related to the idea of spending more on doing rather than owning – particularly in the midst of political and economic uncertainty.
To kick off the session we were challenged to a light-hearted game of last man/woman standing, where Metro presented a show reel of Instagram experiences and we guessed which of them hit the jackpot in terms of likes, shares, hashtags etc. We were definitely on the money when it came to knowing what inspires sharing on social media – but then again, it’s no surprise that a quadruple beef burger drenched in melted cheese is much more stimulating than avocado and Vegemite on rye.
Metro then treated us to a selection of best in class branded experiences. One of my favourite examples was Delta Air Lines, who partnered with Tinder last month to create the ‘Delta Dating Wall’. This was based on the insight that worldly travellers are more likely to be swiped right, and gave singletons the opportunity to take jet-setting selfies in front of exotic destinations worldwide. Although not everyone who got involved had the funds to travel across the globe, it was a great way to get to know Delta and their many destinations. The campaign also got us thinking about the budgets needed for these sort of brand experiences, and how we might be able to create disruptive activity and fame for our own clients without parting with millions.
So how did Metro play a part in this increasingly popular Experience Economy? Well, they showed us that they have a proven track-record of organising some pretty impressive events; from Stand Up to Cancer’s ‘Bust a Move’ fundraising dance class with Kimberly Wyatt (remember the Pussycat Dolls?), to a cool and cosy supper club in promotion of Jack Daniel’s Honey Whiskey – and they can facilitate experiences like these for our clients too.
Over to You
It was time for the final part of the session – a competition that would see two team members walk away with tickets to Portmeirion’s Festival No.6. We were tasked with thinking up an experience that would engage and excite millennials, and while there were many innovative ideas among the group, the winning concept came from a Story Lab/Amnet duo. Their experience was rooted in the insight that holidaymakers have lots of loose foreign currency when they get to airport arrivals. They proposed building a branded amusement arcade in the terminal, where deflated travellers returning home could spend their leftover currency in one last bid to brighten their holiday blues. Well done to Will Wordie and Chloe Allison for thinking up such a shareable experience!