Consumers are shifting towards memorable experiences over material objects that bring happiness and well-being. Experiential consumption is increasing—the global spending on travel, leisure, and food service is estimated to grow from $5.8 trillion in 2016 to $8.0 trillion by 2030.
Businesses are responding by offering indulgences (think Apple products,) enhancing shopping experience (ordering and carrying-out Domino’s Pizza,) and creating more intimate experiences (Mastercard’s Priceless campaign) for consumers.
One particularly edifying case study is Unilever’s Persil brand of laundry detergents (Unilever licenses this brand from Henkel in many countries.) As part of the “Dirt is good” campaign, Persil’s sentimental adverts that remind “learn to be a kid” (clip,) “climb a tree, break a leg … that’s part of life” (clip,) and “dirt makes us equal” (clip) have attempted to connect with consumers emotionally.
Persil bucked the longstanding ritual of creating dull adverts for its dull products (cheery moms grabbing washing baskets and fragrant flowers and butterflies rising from the clean laundry.) Persil doesn’t focus on the detergent’s stain-busting attributes. Instead, Persil’s campaign signals that children must feel free to experience the world around them regardless of the impact on their clothes. One prominent advert (clip) presented a cheerless robot who slowly transforms into a child while playing in the open air and splashing around in a muddy pool during a rainstorm: “Every child has the right to be a child. Dirt is good.”
Even the UNICEF commended Unilever for “creating awareness of children’s right to play, the right to express themselves—in short, the right to be a child! It encourages parents to see the value of exploration, play, activity and exercise as critical to children’s development and important for full and healthy lives, even if it means that children get dirty in the process.”