• Play Retail Ltd.

Virtual Insanity.

Updated: Apr 21, 2020

Can authentic digital experiences bring us closer in a time of social distancing?

Now that the world’s population are predominantly spending their time indoors (over 20% according to The Guardian, UK Edition) we’ve seen, perhaps unsurprisingly, a huge growth in virtual and digital experiences taking place online.

From virtual festivals to online tours of Buckingham Palace, digital experiences are not only feeding people’s creativity but also fulfilling their social needs by bringing people together at this exceptional moment in history.

In the pre-isolation world, digital entertainment experiences were often defined by their unique ability to be consumed ‘on-demand’. In a departure from live programming, digital concerts, TV shows, films and radio had become deeply individual experiences, to be binged alone any time, any place. But with this trend of personal, convenience-driven media consumption, something has been lost; the powerful connection and enjoyment that can only be gained through collective experiences. What about the authenticity of sharing a moment with your loved ones in real-time? Or the feeling of being part of something bigger? Taking you out of your sofa and into the heart of the experience.

Now with the rise of users on Instagram Live, Zoom, Houseparty and Facetime, you can simultaneously take part in exercise, painting or cookery classes and even go clubbing with strangers in Hong Kong or Russia. Not only are these experiences driving positive behaviour, but they are creating a huge sense of solidarity which reaches across continents – now not only are we in this pandemic together but we are sharing collective experiences together too, all from the comfort and safety of our own living rooms.

So how can brands react to the shifting landscape? As virtual and digital experiences replace physical experiences in the hearts and minds of their consumer base – why not use this time to connect with your audience and facilitate meaningful experiences for them to share. With screen times rising exponentially all over the world, perhaps it is time to think about how as a brand, you can connect with your audience when they need you the most? After all, as Maya Angelou famously said, isn’t it better ‘to not merely survive, but to thrive’?

With NYX Makeup hosting a live virtual music festival on Instagram, and JD Sport teaming up with a local record label to host a virtual clubbing experience with Budwiser and multiple alcohol brands – these brands are already setting the president and proving that in times of uncertainty, some of the most creative and original ideas can thrive – and that now is the perfect opportunity to connect with your audience on another level – a virtual level!

Our creative team is already working with our clients to create digital experiences, virtual events and tools. If your business requires extra support to navigate the impact of Covid-19, or to just think ‘outside the box’ please get in touch with anna@play-retail.com

Need some inspiration? Here are some of our favourites to keep you informed and entertained!

Virtual Tours - Buckingham Palace

Explore this magnificent building via a series of virtual tours. The first tour will take you to the Grand Staircase with further tours of the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room and the Blue Drawing Room.

Virtual Dance Parties - Cosyne Creative Collective

Join Cosyne Creative Collective for some funky, fun tunes mixed by their favourite DJs, dance with some smiling faces, and take a moment to reconnect with friends, old and new. Connection is key to staying afloat and riding the tides. Even though we're apart, we can still come together.

Let's dance!

Virtual Workouts - Psycle London

You can find Psycle London over on Instagram for live workouts with their talented instructors as well as on-demand classes that you can do anywhere, any time on their IGTV channel.

Kitchen Quarantine - Massimo Bottura

Every evening at 8pm CET superstar chef Massimo Bottura is live from Modena. Bottura, who temporarily closed the doors to Osteria Francescana, opens the doors of his home and invites all of us inside to kitchen to join his family, wife Lara and children Alexa and Charlie for Kitchen Quarantine as they just hang out cooking together. Every now and then, you’ll catch a glimpse of Monk, the family dog.

Get Creative - Dreams Ps4

Dreams is an extraordinary, ever-expanding game universe from the award-winning Media Molecule, creators of LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway, where you can discover community-made games from around the world…and learn to make your own.

Whether you want to create games, music, paintings, animation, sculpture, movies or anything in-between, Dreams is an extraordinary digital playground where anything is possible.


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