As we enter this new decade, connectivity and technology are developing at an ever increasing rate, and one of the most anticipated developments in the field of mobile technology has been 5G. ‘Fifth-generation wireless’ (5G) is set to offer previously unheard of levels of speed, connectivity and data access to consumers across the world.
The rise of 5G also offers some incredible new opportunities for the PR and marketing industries. There are the obvious benefits, such as higher-quality content available to stream through mobile devices, but this technology is also set to revolutionise the way we think about the classic ‘PR stunt’.
Picture the scene. You’re taking a stroll through a train station in Edinburgh and are presented with a pair of Nreal Augmented Reality glasses. You put them on and are greeted with a fully live and immersive 3600 performance from indie-pop outfit, Bastille, which is taking place nearly 300 miles away in a different country.
Sound crazy? Well, not only is it possible – it actually happened! Back in November, commuters travelling through Birmingham New Street found themselves involved in the world’s first AR-based, multi-location gig, which was made possible by harnessing the power of 5G. The PR stunt, planned by Saatchi and Saatchi for the UK’s largest 5G network provider, EE, was filmed and formatted into an advert which was launched during ITV2’s Love Island last weekend.
The event was well-received, but perhaps more importantly it’s started some very important conversations about the future of the PR stunt. Often, one of the biggest factors when planning a PR stunt is finding the right location – after all, there’s no point putting your time, money and energy into developing a fantastic event if there’s no one around to see it.
However, as evidenced by EE’s campaign, the ability to reach audiences and amplify your experiential stunts will be massively increased through 5G. There are huge opportunities for any experiential brand, imagine seeing the final of the European Football Championships beamed into stadiums across the UK for all those that couldn’t travel to the game.
The new possibilities offered by 5G couldn’t come at a better time for the PR industry, according to leading research firm Kantar’s latest Media Trends Report. In the report, Kantar reveals that brands are becoming more and more concerned with physically connecting with their customers and providing ‘real’ experiences that will develop stronger customer relationships.
The importance of creating these experiences is clear to see. Another of Kantar’s research tools, the Connect Database, shows that usage experience is the 3rd most powerful touchpoint for generating brand impact – something that is vital for success in today’s age of informed and educated consumers.
Whilst the current 5G network is limited to major cities, plans to roll it out nationwide are already in place and we’re likely to see adoption rates expand quickly now that the immense power of the new network has been revealed.
It may be a good while before we see augmented reality in our homes and daily lives – but for PR and marketing, the new world is already here.
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