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For brands it’s a world of paradox…

As consumers we are presented with many choices; we are choice rich and time poor. We live in a world where we are better connected than ever before, but this has led to us being constantly bombarded with information.  Ideas move more quickly and we get bored easily, trends and fads can appear and disappear within weeks and as a result it’s increasingly difficult for brands to catch our attention.

At a recent networking evening with LSN global we discovered there is light (or dark) at the end of the tunnel for brands.

LSN would argue that people no longer live their lives in the middle ground – the middle ground is boring, bland and emotionless and in essence prone to failure; no one really wants to be vanilla, at least not all the time.

We as people would much rather live in extremes; a great example of this is the 5:2 diet which involves fasting for 2 days a week and eating whatever you want for 5 days or Flexitarianism; being fully vegetarian for several days a week but being  carnivores on the other days.

LSN argue that we seem to constantly go between binge tendencies and abstinence behaviour where we seek redemption for our gluttonous behaviour. It’s no surprise that two booming and opposing food trends are American style full fat eating and juice bars offering the ultimate healthy living experience.

The argument is that if we live our life in extremes we are able to experience a full range of emotions – in essence to truly be happy you must truly understand sadness. And for a brand to truly make a consumer happy perhaps they need to make them unhappy first…or at least shock them a little.

The aim is to create a memorable experience for consumers. Several brands have started to use these paradoxical shock and awe methods. Here is our top 3:

Chipotle – Scarecrow advert 

Chipotle

Chipotle

Chipotle

The Nike x Undercover Gyakusou Spring 2014 Collection – based on the mixed emotions you feel when running

Nike x

Nike x

Mike x

Alexander Wang – post-apocalyptic New York Fashion Week show 

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Blog written by Alex Hamilton, junior strategic planner.