More is not enough.
There is one thing you learn early on in concept design. "If everything is special, nothing is special."
Great artists know when to stop, when to stand back and look objectively, and then perhaps erase one object to reach perfection. Great comedians never tell a joke within a joke. I always thought those mile-long salad bars that attract diet conscious office workers produce plates resembling a Mount Everest of toppings, as greed governs need in an "all you can eat" mindset becoming extremely caloric. We live in a "more is not enough" world, and somehow the "more" is lacking.
Luxury websites are awash with One-of-a-kind watches, supercars, jets, island hideaways, and all manner of excess in a endless strand of imagery. Have you ever seen so much "special?" Instead of being envious, I find my eyes glazed after an hour of scrolling. Like the "I Love Lucy" non-stop conveyer belt of eye candy, I'm a bit overwhelmed.
Beyond luxury, are we simply drowning in "more"? Even fast food has become a cafeteria line of endless decisions. Today we build our own own Pizzas and Burritos through a myriad of questions and choices. We are supposed to love having 20 kinds of Coke and choosing the Cupholder trim for our Barcolounger. But do we? In movies, retail, and even dining, it all just gets louder, but is it better? Comedy is the first to go, we just intellectualize humor instead of actually laughing, wryly acknowledging.. "that is SO hilarious."
So how do you reach an audience when more is not enough? You reach them emotionally. Puppies do this well. We reach for the sense that is hardest to predict, "The Mind's Eye." We reach for the dream, the aspiration and then work that into the project, brand or design.
Create a compelling experience first.
All of this matters because we create compelling experiences. This becomes an issue as the bar soars ever higher, the public becoming jaded to the spectacular as a normal part of daily life. Clients want the "wow!" and we may not have the budget for 3000 dancing drones overhead. A close friend related to me after seeing one of these projected, droned, exploding and overproduced spectacles, that it was beautiful and yet unsatisfying. Magic is now expected, not amazing. A powerful breath mint that loses it's flavor and is forgotten. To actually feel anything deeply, experience wants to be so close, so intellectually intimate, that the guest feels something that they did not expect, versus just seeing something transform or glow. Emotional immersion is the next frontier. Digging deeper for what is "authentic" is what millennials have discovered, being discerning enough to weed out the craft cocktails from the bar mix. So in creating a them park, brand showcase, or even a museum exhibition, there are authentic emotions to mine as well. That's what we focus on and it's tougher because it has to come from a real place. ClubAston at Galpin Motors is such an example. Enter the showroom through a secret, red leather "airlock" and design your Aston-Martin at the Bar. When you take delivery, you open Galpin's "vault door" to unveil your new DB11. The authentic legacy of Aston-Martin, in a cinematically immersive environment that supports it. Start with "wow!" and work backwards into the design.
What we do
As an "experiential design agency" we develop both marketing, media and the project in one process. This is why they are more emotionally driven as we see the marketing, not as something to advertise the design, but as a means of extending it. If you are looking to find the emotional side of your brand, product, or place, examine our work at Sottostudios.com
Images ©Galpin Motors, SottoStudios.