Live is dead. Long live live!

Why the big interest in all things live at the moment?  Festivals, book slams, gig-going, retail theatre, all day cafes – all on the rise.  Who knew?  Despite the fact that you can live life on-line, slumped on your sofa with a ready meal and your favourite box-set for company, it seems that the messy, unpredictable thing we call real life experience still has the power to get us out of the house and dipping into our wallet with gusto.

After an intense love affair (Well never go back to boring old live and it's associated costs) with virtual and digital life, big brands are waking up to this phenomenon and realising that big-splash ad campaigns and social media campaigns do not always hit the spot.  Of course live events can never reach as great an audience as a tweet or a TV ad, not in terms of stats.  But there is increasing evidence that it is not just breadth of reach that is important but depth; what good is it if an ad reaches 2 million people, but 90% of them have forgotten it completely within 24 hours.  It has got lost amongst the billions of images we are bombarded with every day, we filter it out..


 It seems that live experience is stored in a different part of the brain, that it is ‘thick’ where other forms of communication are ‘thin.”  Live events are juicy, they are remembered for longer, in richer detail and with greater attachment and emotion.  They engage the customer or consumer on a whole new level, creating that elusive sense of brand loyalty every organisation craves.  Live events lend structure, focus and a certain magic to any campaign.

So, next time you look at your numbers, remember the number of people reached is not the same as the number of people moved or engaged.  Sometimes one (relatively low-cost) powerful event (perhaps then transmitted via social media) has the power to make people laugh and share and talk about it for months, giving exponential word-of-mouth reach to one clever live idea.  And that translates into a loyal customer-base and increased sales.

 That is why the live element of a campaign is often the secret ingredient which brings all the others to life.

 Live is the umami of the marketing mix.  Ignore at your peril!