Distraction

By Marco Marsan of Marco Polo Explorers 03 January 2020

Distraction is something we seem to be talking about a lot lately (don’t worry, this is not about to turn into a political rant). Have you noticed new forms of distraction? Certainly, distraction is getting a lot of media attention in context of political conversations, depending on the media outlet you are tuning into of course.

But amid the chaos of a cultural reset, new forms of distraction are emerging. Or, new interpretations on classic forms of distraction.

At Marco Polo, we look at patterns in behaviors and trends in decision-making. Distractions, especially the constant and predictable political bait & switch, have always been around. And in marketing, a winning product must be able to distract you from it’s competition if it is going to be successful. Furthermore, some products are designed to be functional distractions from everyday life, such as alcoholic beverages and spa treatments. Again… this is nothing new.

But we are in a reset, a chaotic one at that. Opinions and behaviors are shifting, and consumers’ engagement with brands has changed. They aren’t blinded by shiny objects anymore… or are they? Will a Unicorn Frappuccino make you forget about all the adulting you have to do today? If you buy your officemates a box of Animal Print Donuts, will you set aside your political differences for one morning?

Or, maybe we are still uncomfortably shifting in our cultural reset and we don’t know where consumer behaviors and opinions will land, and the best we can do as marketers is throw some bright colors and shiny glitter on it to buy some time. In the end, if it distracts you and puts a smile on your face for a moment, then we’ve done our job. Right? Or have we done a disservice?

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