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6 October 2015

Toilets for goalposts…and the future of entertainment

Written by: Alex Eeles, Principal Writer at Edelman

Consumer Trends & Insight, Culture, Entertainment

There’s been quite an interesting development here at Edelman: miniature goalposts in the urinals. Gone is the plain old white porcelain and instead every male visitor to the office toilets can now experience a personalised penalty shootout.

Of course, it might just be the latest tactic to improve my species’ notorious lack of aim. But maybe it’s actually representative of something bigger.

In a world where pedestrians simultaneously play with their phone, stream music and sip a takeaway coffee, maybe toilet-based entertainment is a logical next step.

Nowadays, our need for stimulation is almost constant. Watching TV whilst tweeting about it. Spending the daily commute catching up with Game of Thrones. Talking to mates on Snapchat while we read our emails. We even have apps to record us while we sleep.

For the communications industry, this brings huge opportunity but also huge challenge. People want to be entertained 24/7, which means more chances to connect with them and create excitement around our brand. The trouble is, there’s now so much stimulation to choose from that the average person’s attention span is getting shorter all the time too. I mean, if I can’t empty my bladder without some additional entertainment, what are the chances of me watching a YouTube ad all the way through or reading an entire feature article before clicking elsewhere?

Of course, being creative and impactful enough to initially grab the attention of a reader, viewer or listener will always be paramount for any marketer. Yet increasingly, this is just one part of the story. Nowadays, the real trick comes in ensuring what you offer is sufficiently entertaining to curb their desire to move onto something else. And that’s true wherever they are and whatever device they’re holding in their hand at the time.

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