You can’t beat a physical experience

With the news that Snap Inc’s Spectacles are now available to buy on Amazon, we looked into the effect of an online purchase versus an offline one...

Snap Inc’s Spectacles record live video to share on its social platform Snapchat via a pair of sunglasses. They were initially launched exclusively for offline purchase from vending machines which popped up in unannounced places.

In giant yellow ‘bots’, the sunglasses were dispensed from the cute-looking machines in and around just 12 famous landmarks in the US and Europe. From the Grand Canyon to Santa Monica beach to Paris’ Louvre, the bots created a real buzz when they popped up with little prior warning.

Creating even more excitement, within 45 minutes of the latest location being announced online, fans were queuing around the block to snap up the exclusive Spectacles.

By chance, I was lucky enough to witness this for myself in LA’s The Grove shopping area. As I work in social media, I knew exactly what I was looking at – and it was very cool!

But now that Spectacles are available online, will crowds form such a spectacle in the same manner? Personally, I think not. There’s something about a physical experience. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy, it gives you a VIP feeling, and ultimately, you’re more interested in the product on offer, especially with the exclusivity that brings.

After seeing the bot in LA, I may not have queued for the Spectacles, but I certainly felt more excited about Snapchat (and I use it every day).

Online is convenient that’s for sure, but whether it’s the way to make consumers advocates of your brand, that’s another thing. As Amazon’s Dash button [to re-order much-needed toilet roll] shows, we really can get anything we need now at the touch of a button online, but I’m not sure it’s enough to make consumers form long-lasting connections with products like a real life encounter.

We’re real advocates of a physical experience here at N2O. You can’t beat that warm fuzzy feeling; that VIP feeling we work so hard for people to get from our campaigns!

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