EXPERIENCES > CONTENT
By Jaylin Paschal
Kanye's latest marketing endeavor was a smart move that combined influencers and public relations. To debut Yeezy Season 6, he sent family friends out in white Kim-esque wigs dressed in the collection. They seemingly went on with their casual-everyday lives as paparazzi and Instagram put on the social media "fashion show" that broke the internet.
The tactic left event coordinators, fashion folk, PR consultants and content creators asking: Is this symbolic of the future? Is social media the death of fashion shows?
I say no. I understand why some might worry about this, though. Content has become so creative and engaging + accessible and convenient that it's easy to think that "digital experiences" will become the new normal.
Social media is great, and this release was definitely brilliant. But people will always value two things: 1) Experiences and 2) Exclusivity.
Nothing will ever replace the feeling of being in a moment. Though we snap and tweet through many of the events we attend, there's still something about being there that doesn't translate through screens and hashtags. When we think about what our lives have entailed, we don't recall back to memories of streaming live events or scrolling through moments or saving screenshots to our Instagram galleries. We think of where we were and how we felt. Attendance is always better than hearing about something later. The curation of experiences is a process and skill that amplifies cultural ideas to real breathable moments.
While the internet and social media serves for the "democratization" of culture, there's still something to be said about being one of the select few able to experience something. We all like to feel "elite," and there's something special about being able to attend some "sold out" event. We like to be able to say "I was there" when big events are discussed. Think about the number of people who can say they've seen Frank Ocean live versus the number that will never get the chance to--there's an exclusivity that increases the value of those experiences. Connected to exclusivity, there is aspiration. Consumers like having something to aspire to. No one dreams of watching the Met Gala or the Superbowl or Fashion Week, or scrolling through images tagged in Paris or Rome or Seoul. The dream is getting there.
This is why, no matter how cool, clever or exciting "internet breaking" is, nothing will ever substitute for the real thing. The content is going to get better, but the moments will never be sweeter.