Unreality: New report shows digital overload has sparked growth in spiritualism and magic

WEB_Selfridges-Christmas-Windows-2015_Journey-to-the-Stars_Zodiac-ScorpioThe latest trend report from the Innovation Group, released today, explores Unreality, a new mode of truth-seeking that emphasises magic and spirituality, the knowingly unreal, and the intangible aspects of our lives that defy big data and the ultratransparency of the web.

We live in an age of hyper-reality and transparency overload, when our private Google searches are indexed by algorithms and smartphones offer a window onto the intimate lives of millions of strangers. But what happens when we tire of all this unfiltered faux-reality? Enter Unreality.

“Consumers are adrift in a sea of user-generated content that purports to offer access to the ‘real’ world,” says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group. “But they are increasingly aware that much of this is highly mediated and misleading. Unreality is the clear reaction to this: surreal vsuals, unicorns, alternate universes and all.”

The report explores:

– Magic language: Why brands are using the vocabulary of the spiritual and astrological worlds to offer enlightenment and escapism to consumers, even if the goal is selling face cream.

– Post-reality imagery: Surreal imagery is emerging as a reaction to gritty user-generated reality, as otherworldly and supernatural scenarios meet a need for psychological escapism.

– The new New Age: Spiritually rewarding experiences with a positive psychological and physical impact are taking the place of prayer as consumers flock to sound baths, crystals and cosmology.

– Surreal porn: Virtual reality is ushering in a new erotic aesthetic that blends fantasy with surreal sci-fi, with much of it coming from the video-games graphics world.
When hyperbole is stratospheric, where is there that’s beyond awesome? Another world, but one that doesn’t actually exist.

Download the full 34-page report free of charge here


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