You see them everywhere – people with their heads down, supplicant hands, silent, staring at a mobile device.
They are praying to the god of the Internet, requesting that the pipes and bytes entertain them, illuminate them and placate the boredom of being alive.
Between 9pm and midnight around the world, the TV sits mute while people hover around the LCD monitor watching a rerun on hulu, or a cat doing backflips whilst wearing a tutu on YouTube.
The Internet has simultaneously gone prime-time and become mobile and this is changing what people expect from their online experiences regardless of a sedentary or nomadic pattern of use. People expect to be entertained, engaged, informed, outraged and delighted from their online experiences. This has implications for online and offline retailers, publishers, bloggers, designers and online marketers.
Everyone needs to be a little more entertaining. Users expect it and businesses creating the best, most entertaining content will win regardless of industry.
Bryan Eisenberg talks about persuasion architecture, I think we should start talking about entertainment experience or lolcats architecture.
I don’t need to be persuaded or cajoled. I just need to be your friend and think that you’re the cleverest, the funniest, the fastest, the most innovative, or the toughest.
Relationships might originate in Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and finish with a purchase being made via a mobile site over a few drinks.
Or a work type relationship with your insurance company might evolve into a casual laugh over madcap YouTube accident videos. CGU are running a pretty good campaign featuring a dancing bricklayer that they are promoting in Facebook.
Seek.com have embraced entertainment commerce offering cute games that are promoted by their job seeker emails.
Google were a very early adopter with their logo memes now widely chattered about and promoted by people.
Zynga have built a billion dollar empire soley on entertaining kids and teaching about raising barns.
Moosejaw, an outdoors brand, made people laugh lots with their break up service that was featured in YouTube.
As the Internet evolves to become an intricate part of people’s social and personal lives, brands need to be smarter at how they reach their buyers.
If the 2000s were all about getting direct response campaigns right in search engines, then the 2010s will be about getting the entertainment experience right and driving new customers to your online door.