When JWT Intelligence announced its "10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond" recently, trend #1 was "immersive experiences." Certainly you can feel this in New York: From Punchdrunk's Sleep No More (now running for nearly three years) to MoMA's Rain Room to Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room, people are willing to pay top dollar or line up for hours to experience something all-encompassing and beyond the ordinary. But why?
The new report—based on a survey of Internet users in the US and the UK, on assessments from JWT planners around the world, and on interviews with outside observers (myself included)—lists six key reasons. Interestingly, only two have anything to do with advances in technology or production techniques. The remaining four stem from broad societal shifts—shifts that are tied to, but in many cases a reaction against, the always-on nature of the digital world.