In 1991, Madonna released Truth or Dare, a documentary that sent a frisson of excitement through the music and movie industries alike. It seemed like we’d never before seen a performer willing to reveal the most intimate moments of her life on tour. Of course today it seems almost sweetly innocent when compared to the antics of many a reality-TV star, but at the time it broke new ground.
I thought about the movie recently in the context of Cyber Monday. There’s a wonderfully charged moment in the movie when Warren Beatty chastises Madonna, who has just refused to talk to her doctor on camera: “She doesn’t want to live off-camera, much less talk. There’s nothing to say off-camera.” Of course Beatty fully intends his comment to come off as a criticism, a put-down of what he presumably perceives as Madonna’s constant exhibitionism: she does everything else on camera, so why not this, right? But there’s something else to it, as well. You could say that that comment in some ways foretold the rise of what we marketers call online-offline convergence.
According to the IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, Cyber Monday online shopping reached an all-time high, jumping 30 percent over 2011. Sales were powered in part by the multiscreen shopper—these are people who not only understand how to use technology, but whose lifestyles have been utterly transformed by it. They wouldn’t dream of shopping without whipping out their phones and tablets or asking their social buddies (who may number in the hundreds of thousands) for advice.
And here’s the best part: what we refer to in marketing vernacular as “convergence” actually reflects the reality of how people live today. But don’t take my word for it. Read the Benchmark report and let the numbers speak for themselves.