I recently watched the new Transformers movie and in many scenes we can see our luminaires. In one particular scene towards the end of the film, while all the buildings are falling down around it, there is a shot in the foreground of a luminaire from our Renaissance series. Let me specify here that it has been sold by Philips Lumec to the City of Chicago. This project was part of the Wacker Drive reconstruction executed a few years ago. It includes several Renaissance luminaires as well as hundreds of Visualumes.
This made me think about product placement and the use of media, especially the power of social media. Without a doubt, the explosion of social media is everywhere and with good reason. It is changing many aspects of our lives. More and more companies have their own facebook page and twitter account that they regularly feed in order to be seen by as many people as possible.
Sometimes unconsciously, the photos that people put up on their social media sites act as ads for products or even for cities. The pictures that are posted on people’s social networking pages are available for all to see. This kind of free advertisement can be used indirectly to attract businesses, industries, new residents and even tourists to a certain area. Without any fee attached to it, they promote the city, as well as the products (for example, ours) that are in those pictures posted on social networking pages.
You probably already know that all your facebook friends can see the non-professional, unretouched photos of the trips you took. Google is contributing to this situation as well, just as tourists’ sites are, where people upload their vacation photos for everyone to see. Some prefer to give full access only to their friends, just as you can do on facebook.
As a result, the city is getting free ad space. This can either be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the image and/or the content of what is shown. But everyone who uses social media has to make sure to show a positive and pleasant image at all times because a negative one would deter people from visiting or from moving their family or company to the city in question.
One thing that the city can do is choose the right product that fits the context /environment. And the luminaires it chooses will be seen by everyone.
A few weeks ago, on Twitter and on Lorraine Calcott’s Blog, there was a lot of talk and many comments were made about broken down old lighting luminaires in a major tourist destination. With social media, thousands of people and maybe even more, saw these photos and read the comments. This can deter tourism, however the opposite is just as true. Well chosen luminaires and well lit public places will have the positive effect of enticing people to come, stay and partake in the image of the photo that they had seen.
It is no secret: people are attracted to beauty, charm and character. Like any seduction phase, you need to look your best at all times. In business just as in love, image is important. To seduce and attract, one needs to look its best. Be it a city, a neighborhood, a building or a product. If it is not the case, chances are the world might just very quickly see it. So be aware of the power of social media and make sure to use them wisely.
As for our luminaire in the Transformers movie, we are very happy it survived Hollywood’s special effects.