Strategist Insights from VivaTech, 2024

Our Strategist, Camille Chalvin and Growth and Strategy Lead, Daisy Potfer headed to VivaTech this year for an inspirational few days: it was an exciting and optimistic look at the future, with AI everywhere, becoming essential to business models and retail ecosystems, and creating user-focused experiences. But beyond the impressive AI showcases, there were also inspiring insights into other digital media. Here are some key takeaways:

AI as a true creative playground: We’re not talking about generative AI boosting productivity by generating loads of branded assets for packshots or social content here! Numerous experiences at VivaTech this year showcased AI’s ability to give a voice to the invisible and intangible. From Ruinart's Conversations with Nature embodying nature itself, to The Anger Falls Silent by Obvious translating human imagination into tangible art through neuroscience, Benjamin Bardou’s Memories of an Exhibition questioning memory imprints, or Individual Collective by Mirror capturing person's aura, AI is truly a fantastic playground for creativity and poetry right now.

Gaming is a natural path for both brands and audiences: The world’s top entertainment source, gaming, offers a revolutionary way to engage loyal and dedicated audiences. Brands are eager to entertain, and users are keen to engage actively, becoming the "hero" of the story. Conversion comes naturally, especially in the luxury industry, due to the shared appreciation for fine craft. This requires a test-and-learn approach and a new way to communicate by embracing the audience's language, but the results are spectacular. It's not just about the time spent on the platform; it's also about increased engagement across other brand channels. For example, Fenty saw a sixfold growth on their YouTube channel from their gaming experience on Roblox. So, let’s not be afraid to experiment!

VivaTech 2024

Augmented immersive experiences are rising: The multisensory dimension is clearly becoming more important to brand experiences and continues to blur the lines between the real and virtual. Guerlain’s Olfactive Landscapes, a series of intimate conversations with Perfumer Delphine Jelk in VR, and the Xydrobe Pod, a defined pod space that immerses users with scent, sound and visuals in VR, are both prime examples of how immersivity is valued in engaging audiences on a deeper level.

Experiential websites are essential destinations to complement stores: The SEPHORA Universe is a brilliant example: recognizing that fans used e-commerce mainly for reorders, the brand has created a new digital destination for beauty lovers. The metaverse brings more inclusivity, creativity, and delight through playful, meaningful experiences like the ‘Face Mask Fruit Pursuit’. We were able to test this on the Vision Pro, it was a lot of fun. Hublot’s The Unico Experience in partnership with Epic Games is another great example, with their storytelling customization experience boasting an average of 22 minutes of dwell time.

Personalization is here to stay: As Razorfish aptly puts it, ‘It's still not the year of personalization, even though we hear this every year.’ The rise of AI however could finally push us in the right direction for personalization in retail, starting with personal assistants. We saw a lot of this at VivaTech this year from L'Oréal and LVMH, particularly with Möet Hennessy’s AI sommelier.

VivaTech 2024 highlighted an exciting future for digital experiences, with pioneering brands pushing for more immersive engagement and meaningful interactivity, transforming how they connect with their audiences. Let’s see what happens between now and 2025’s edition...

Header image credit: Viva Technology