The world is changing fast nowadays; therefore, even the way we understand things can sometimes be a matter of constant transformation. Our habits are rapidly changing; let’s take for example our consuming habits. It is quite clear that we consume in a pretty much different way compared to past generations, or even to the generation of our parents. Today, to be interactive is the key word – even when we talk about the arts. When we talk about theater, music and so many other forms of art, the audiences are being asked to participate in various ways. They vote, they suggest, they’re welcomed to bring their own personal contribution.
Consumers are not supposed to be passive anymore, but they are rather supposed to be active and to engage, to like on Facebook all of the things that are of interest to them. We can notice differences in advertising too; advertisers do not treat their potential target group as passive consumers, as a voiceless herd. They consider them active agents and they surely wish them to have a say on how their favorite products could look like. Advertising companies are much less of what they used to be only a couple of decades before. Nowadays they expect from their audiences and consumers to express their tastes and desires, which will immediately be included in their own strategies and campaigns, as well as in the appearance and attributes of the services or products that they advertise.
Nowhere this procedure is much more obvious thanks to the World Wide Web. The social media “revolution” has totally transformed the way we understand things. Twitter users are demanding and they surely have a word to say, even if it is confined to 140 characters! Social media users are actively engaging in all issues that emerge in our modern democratic societies; of course, they also want to have some fun. Big companies are frequently offering this chance to social media users; they tend to engage with them in all sorts of activities relating to their products and advertising campaigns.
Take for example MINI’s latest impressive, and quite innovative, campaign titled “Not Normal”. If you live in London you might have seen it already out there in the streets: I’m referring to the spectacular MINI Countryman that doesn’t quite look like any other mere vehicle simply because it is much more than a simple car. MINI Art Beat is an interactive art installation, a superb design project that aims to bring the future closer to us.
Video billboards might be old news by now, but 48.000 LEDs embedded on a car that is able to project images and sounds must surely be something of the more genuine and fascinating sort. The MINI Art Beat is a vehicle that projects people’s creativity. Social media users are invited to create their own short videos, graphics and animations; you can even put your face on it! The only thing you have to do is to make it look stylish and cool, according to MINI’s long tradition as an international brand name that signifies a cool attitude. As for the song that needs to accompany your creation, a party song might just be a great idea I guess… what would you say about “Smalltown Boy” by Bronski Beat!? Sounds perfect for the MINI alternative attitude, don't you think?
It is more than obvious that a precious thing such as the MINI Art Beat is not on sale. However, car finance deals from MINI can make it much easier for you to buy your own favorite MINI model and you are more than invited to try your own magic in its customization!
Customizing your favorite object, whether it is a car, a tablet or even a piece of furniture for your house is certainly the latest trend in our consuming habits. To me, this sounds like a blessing. Customization means personalization, which means that an object can be transformed to something that makes sense to you; it can become an object that reflects your own personal tastes and desires, your own attitude and approach, telling your own story.
To tell you the truth, for the MINI Art Beat project a whole huge group of technicians, artists, programmers, digital strategists and LED mechanics worked intensively to make it happen. Unfortunately, it stays as a work of art rather than a product. Don’t lose hope, though; the time when we will be able to do so much more to our cars than we can presently imagine will eventually arrive, one day soon … Be prepared to ride on the rhythms and colors of your dreams!