The past few years have been a wild ride to say the least. We've seen the base concept of truth called into question. We seem to be equally obsessed with the search for truth and authenticity, yet fascinated by the thwarting of reality and scam culture. News sources on every side tell us they are the ones providing the real truth without bias or prejudice, while our Netflix queues are filled with stories like Tinder Swindler and Inventing Anna, which marvel at one's ability to suspend and recreate reality for personal gain.
The dichotomy has us asking: is our human condition craving more truth, or just an escape from the real world? And, where do we look to find truth and establish trust in a world where its scarcity is becoming normalized? It's no surprise that when most of our universe is in a state of disruption, we wrestle with whether to stay plugged in or escape.
At South by Southwest this year, we experienced a full week of diving even deeper into the existential rabbit hole as speakers and our fellow attendees called the very nature of our present reality into question.
From psychedelics, to the Metaverse, to accepted concepts like, well, birds, what we’ve generally seen as our human reality is becoming a very squishy concept. At Spectacle, we do think birds are real (at least some of them). We know psychedelics are real (heard it from a friend) and are unlocking breakthrough treatments in clinical depression and PTSD. The Metaverse? We’re not so sure.
Why are we asking these questions? Partially because for our clients, we are cultural meteorologists and strategic advisors, helping them position their brands powerfully in a sea of information. But, largely, we ask these questions because we are human beings, innately curious about what our future holds.
In the end, humans crave reality. We crave it in a pure and optimistic sense, but we have been living in a reality that can make that hard to recall.
So, what does that mean for brands?
At Spectacle, we believe we’re moving into a new paradigm of tangibility. In a world inundated with click-bait and bullshit, the businesses who should (and can) thrive are those that provide tangible positive impact to their communities.
These days, things can often seem hopeless, and the concept of reality fed to you through most media purposely reinforces that. But we came away from SXSW 2022 with a lot of optimism, and we’d like to share it with you. Our collection of truth-questing articles will take you on a journey through some of the biggest questions we are contemplating, what we learned at SXSW, and what it means when it comes to building a breakthrough brand:
- The Battle of Good and Evil: Which Side is Tech Fighting For?
- Building Trust When There’s No Truth: What we can learn from the “Birds Aren’t Real” Movement
- Creating Breakthrough Brands in a Subjective World
If you’re growing a purpose-led business, we’re willing to bet you’re asking yourself similar questions, and the resources above will be helpful. But if you want someone to talk it through with, we hope you’ll reach out. Navigating Big Questions with businesses we believe in is what we do.