Elysian fields

Last Sunday, and once a month since 2016, the Champs-Elysées Avenue was pedestrian. While this seems pretty insignificant, it actually reflects our times. Understanding this initiative means to understand people’s expectations. This avenue was aimed to cars (a lot of cars, according to its width), so why has it suddenly chosen to cut off from its original purpose and turn car-free? As if once a month, heirs of the most ancient French noble families decided to shut down the Château of Versailles to spend the day…

The clue is about private and public spaces. Because public spaces are more and more privatized (sidewalks annexed by restaurants’ terraces, self-service bicycles and scooters…), why shouldn’t we return what inhabitants are losing every day? The Champs-Elysées’s privatization bears the same logic as the Seine’s quayside. Apart from this private/public debate, the initiative is relevant of what is probably the strongest expectation of our time: to live an experience. The experience is becoming a providential antidote to a dull and repetitive daily life. Changing the destination of a place instantly freshens up the way it is seen.

The perspective of living a new experience has always been attractive, but the associated pleasure is now increased by the idea of sharing it on the social networks. In this case, pictures of the car-free avenue will be all over the internet. To live an experience also means to turn these opportunities into one’s own personal moments such as having a picnic or dancing tango on the cobbled “most beautiful avenue of the world”. Everything can be imagined. And to stroll down the Champs-Elysées can also be a way of living again the parade of the Bleus after their consecration. Because successful experiences are the ones that trigger emotions.

So What ?

Absolutely new, rare, shareable on the social networks, possibly adoptable and able to create lasting emotions: these are the required qualities of a successful brand experience.

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