Are we all just grown children?

 

The age of the ball-pit is upon us.

 
Adidas BOOST launch event at Studio 525.

Adidas BOOST launch event at Studio 525.

I’m watching two kids bounce back-and-forth on a teeter-totter built for the Adidas launch of their new BOOST shoe at Studio 525. The look on their face’s can only be described as “ebullient” as they make their way from the teeter totter to the “maze” designed to be a brain game  to enhance cognition. These kids, are adults.

Like it or not, it is undeniable that “play” has infiltrated adult marketing. From Snarkitecture’s ball pit within the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. to Pinterest’s adult playground at Cannes – ‘play’ has become the theme du jour for marketers. But what actually is driving this?

 
Pinterest’s Playground at Cannes Lions by Yinka Ilori.

Pinterest’s Playground at Cannes Lions by Yinka Ilori.

 

“I think playing is something that eases people and brings them back to something free of rules and disconnected from daily constraints,” says Arthur Vallin, the Creative Director behind the Adidas BOOST event. “Something much needed nowadays.”

Maybe it has to do with the feelings we get when we play. In an age when all marketing is geared at eliciting customer’s feelings, what better feeling can you associate with your brand than unbridled childlike joy?

With the impending doom associated with climate change, back-breaking student loans, and mounting tensions abroad – maybe Millennials just want a brief respite and return to childhood? Maybe we all need more play in our lives.

 
Snarkitecture’s BEACH exhbition.

Snarkitecture’s BEACH exhbition.

 

“I hope [the trend continues],” says Vallin. “It will definitely evolve as technology can really integrate seamlessly with physical activations but [play] is such a basic and needed human dynamic that I don’t think it will die anytime soon”.