I’m Getting ‘Immersed’ in 2014. So Are You!

Lately, all I’ve been immersed in is wine, stuffing and familial strife- Happy Birthday Jesus, cracking party as always, many happy returns etc – I know those of you who celebrate will all be in agreement. You might also find that Christmas brings everyone’s feelings to the Primark-jumper covered surface, which for me, translates to my sobbing at anything. Being the sort of person who is rendered inconsolable over stepping on my niece’s Lego during the Christmas period, and I am exactly who schmaltzy Christmas ads are designed for. I fall for them unreservedly, and cheerfully give them all of my pennies.

This is what happened with Apple this year, but with a whole extra level of Christmas heartstring tugging I couldn’t keep to myself. Apple’s AirPlay Christmas ad isn’t really anything special. A teenage boy meanders silently through his super-wholesome family Christmas, before showing them all that he’s been quietly filming it on his iPhone the whole time. Everyone cries, the super-trendy folk cover of a Christmas classic crescendoes and I’m all choked up and it’s back to Fellowship of the Ring for me. See, you need to get on this level with me:

Sweet, right? I was vaguely mortified by this, and quickly moved onto Stage 2 of advert-reaction – denial. Except, when I went to read what smarter people than me have to say about it, I picked up my iPhone. And the YouTube app crashes (standard), so I picked up my mum’s iPad to go through Safari. I opened it, and there’s a baby picture of me and my little brother as her background, from many moons ago when we were both less old and grumpy and hairy. I’m all fuzzy and warm again, and just like that, Apple’s forced me to create my very own immersion experience. Daring me, the consumer of their products like so, so many of us are, to acknowledge Apple’s place in my life – not just in work or learning, but my life. 

Bollocks, Apple? Really? I’ll never be as alt-cool as I want to be. Hang on, let me acquire a vintage typewriter to write next week’s post on – anyone want my Macbook Pro? Comes with complimentary toast crumbs  in the keyboard, and a super cool Iron Man decal! Check it out:

Immersion as a marketing experience is one of the most exciting things coming up for me, and for Marketing Week – maybe’s it’s just because I always get overwhelmed by the choice and availability of experience, knowledge and emotion to Internet, but being expressly encouraged to engage more than one of my senses when I’m taking in media plays right to my strengths. Apple played to my emotions on the screen, and this prompted me to feel the products in my hands – to be mindful of the decisions I’ve made as a digital consumer, and to be mindful of what they have contributed to my life. This experience is no longer just visual and emotional, it’s tactile too. If I’d have used iTunes to buy music, it could have been aural. When eau de iPhone comes out, (I sincerely hope I never think that’s a good idea), someone’s going to smell themselves and think they’re the shit and the experience becomes olfactory. Tell me your mind isn’t just the teeniest bit blown.

I wrote about Disney Infinity earlier this month – it still blows my mind that you can build your own Disney world on multiple devices and platforms – so kids can do this anywhere –  and interact those games with physical, traditional toys. Over my lifetime, handheld entertainment for kids has moved in a linear, out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new fashion. The development went from plastic wind-up toys to motorised mini-vehicles, to Game Boys, to PlayStations, to Xbox, to iPads – the size of the medium shrinks, but the world inside them just keeps getting bigger. It’s been cool. But suddenly, we’re headed to a phase where innovation isn’t just progress. Innovation means combining the new and the old to create something that’s genuinely unique. I’m obsessed with this idea leaving 2013, and I predict it’ll only get worse as I go into 2014.

On a totally unrelated note, the other thing I’m getting immersed in in 2014 is this gorgeous little dropling – this is Nina, she is a 9 week old cocker spaniel/poodle cross (also known as a cockapoo, which I can’t bring myself to use in conversation) and doggy marketing is surely something I’ll learn to give a shit about once I get over THIS FACE OMG.

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