Yesterday, I was staying at a boutique hotel in Washington, The Topaz. The hotel supplied two dressing gowns. This is pretty standard. What is less standard: the dressing gowns were leopard "skin" and zebra "skin," respectively. There’s nothing subtle about the designs. They are bold, unmistakable, and deeply weird.
Apparently, what happens at the Topaz stays at the Topaz. This little hotel is engaged in "experience marketing" and encouraging visitors to make an ordinary stay more "adventurous" and "exotic."
There’s a theatrical scenario built in to this clothing. Leopards chase, attack and kill Zebras. So you’d want to be careful which dressing gown you put on, I guess. But for those with the courage to wear the gown, there is a little drama waiting to happen, and some couples will find this an inducement for interactions that might not otherwise have occurred to them.
Self discovery is a long standing promise of the creative fields. It has only recently entered the commercial sector in any serious way. (Um, maybe this is wrong.) What is new, surely, is the number of commercial players who offer "identity exploration" is one of their deliverables. Who are the best players here? What is the state of the art? To what extent could this be one of the futures of marketing?