J. Walter Thompson's Innovation Group Unveils New "Unreality" Report Showing Digital Overload Has Sparked Growth in Spiritualism and Magic

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Report reveals that people are turning to the unreal and intangible in digital and tech backlash

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Consumers are adrift in a sea of user-generated content that purports to offer access to the ‘real’ world.

The latest trend report from J. Walter Thompson's Innovation Group, released this week, explores "Unreality," a new mode of truth-seeking that emphasizes 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 visuals, 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.
 
Download the full 34-page report free of charge at https://www.jwtintelligence.com/trend-reports.
 
ABOUT J. WALTER THOMPSON COMPANY 
J. Walter Thompson Company was founded in 1864 and has been making pioneering solutions that build enduring brands and business for more than 150 years. Today, the company has evolved to include several global networks including J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, Mirum and Colloquial.
 
ABOUT THE INNOVATION GROUP 
The Innovation Group is J. Walter Thompson’s futurism, research and innovation unit. It charts emerging and future global trends, consumer change and innovation patterns — translating these into insight for brands. It offers a suite of consultancy services, including bespoke research, presentations, co-branded reports and workshops. It is also active in innovation, partnering with brands to activate future trends within their framework and execute new products and concepts.

The Innovation Group is part of J. Walter Thompson Intelligence, a platform for global research, innovation and data analytics at J. Walter Thompson Company. It houses three key in-house practices: SONAR™, Analytics and the Innovation Group. For more information, please visit http://www.jwtintelligence.com and follow us @JWTIntelligence.

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Jocelyn Weiss Malas
J. Walter Thompson Company
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