The rate and scale of people’s connectivity mean we are now in an ‘era of live’, says Iris, and the implications for brands and society are not to be underestimated.
Speaking at The Drum’s Can-Do Festival Predictions Series, Iris chief strategy officer Ben Essen and global director, future strategy, Sorcha John, unpicks the meaning of the ‘era of live’ and explains what the implications are for the marketing industry.
Essen explains that Iris investigated this phenomenon via a piece of research with 2,500 Gen Z people across five markets. After asking them whether their mobile usage tallies with stats that say Gen Z use their phone upwards of 50 times a day, the agency found that most people felt that, rather than put a number on their connectivity, they felt they were always connected.
“We found that in China, three out of four Gen Z said ‘I'm not disconnected and actually if I was disconnected, I might as well have disappeared’. That's how important and real digital life is. This struck us is quite a profound insight, because our digital connection has basically been asynchronous, for the entirety of human existence so far. Suddenly we're hitting this point, which is now synchronous, so it's happening at the same speed as real life,” he explains.
One output of this change in behaviour is that digital platforms are becoming less segregated and newer players like TikTok are finding popularity with a much wider demographic user base.
“One of the most interesting parts we saw was, leading up to this year there was a separation of people by the platform. Age, demographics, would be splitting in different ways across different platforms, or different interest groups really owning those platforms. Lots of the Rites of Passage around digital creativity, for example, a dance on TikTok, were really developed by young people. Brands were trying to get in there and jump on that trend but not really doing it very effectively. What we are seeing now is TikTok is now family space, we see whole families coming together to dance, participate and discuss. That's the utility of TikTok, it has totally transformed and the people on it have completely transformed. It's bringing together a lot more cohesion,” explains John.
John and Essen spoke with The Drum’s publisher, APAC, Charlotte McEleny as part of The Drum’s Can-Do Festival, an online event celebrating the positive energy, innovation and creative thinking that can make the marketing community such a powerful force for good. You can watch the interview in full here.
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