We used to have to be face-to-face to talk to each other. Now we can FaceTime, Hangout or Skype. We can instant message, see when the other person has read it or fret over why they haven’t replied yet. There’s a demand for instant gratification and, with it, a rise in impatience.
At its core, real-time is about sending, processing and receiving data as it occurs in real life: playing computer games in amazingly realistic environments, tracking your pizza or taxi’s location after you’ve ordered it, or knowing when someone else buys tickets for the flight you are looking at. Real-time is all around us nowadays.
As a result, we’ve seen a huge increase not only in services and brands adopting real-time but also in people expecting it. In advertising, this is shaping how agencies develop campaign ideas and how these go beyond TV ads. The need is to maximise the assets developed for campaigns by using them in emerging channels – for example, real-time video streaming using apps such as Meerkat and Periscope.
At MPC, we create platforms to allow clients to have real-time control over their assets. If something happens – be it an event or a customer interaction – the brand can respond instantly with contextually relevant content. And speeding up the production process is vital if we want to cater to the real-time generation.
For content creators, real-time has an impact on the response time for publishing content – and the speed in which we need to adapt by fixing and revising that content once it has been released. Unlike a traditional TV ad, with real-time content there is constant bug fixing and adjusting, which begs the question: when is the deadline?
For brands, real-time has many applications beyond advertising: some good for consumers, such as immediate, personalised customer support; others less so, such as prices changing in real time based on browser and purchase history. Mostly, consumers will embrace it, as long as it’s not too obtrusive.
From interactions to reactions, individualised and experiential storytelling to collaborative shared experiences, real-time is growing. It will continue to expand as technology improves and information is processed faster. In the age when we can know most things instantly, the challenge becomes relearning how to become patient and how to focus on what really matters.
Andre Assalino is the interactive creative director at MPC