We love an all-nighter, and this week’s election drama was certainly worth the over-reliance on coffee that powered more than one of our team through a sleepy Friday.
Now he’s had a proper sleep again, Daniel Lynch explains why he loves an all-nighter and how they offer opportunities for brands. One thing that you’ll take from this is he really loves an election. He thinks it’s up there with the Superbowl, you know…
There’s something almost illicit about sitting up into the wee hours, armed with coffee (yeah, I like coffee) and an assortment of treats and snacks, glued to the television. Whether you’re encamped in your living room with friends or flying solo curled up on the sofa you feel connected; enthralled by what’s unfolding.
On some level the dreaded fear of missing out is at the heart of our growing obsession with all-nighters. Social media provides a whole other dimension of coverage, content and contribution. Not being part of it simply isn’t an option for some.
Few events really capture the imagination in this way, but they are slowly becoming more numerous.
Traditionally the Superbowl and American presidential elections were the showpiece calendar dates we burned the midnight oil for. The glitz and glamour of the spectacle alien to what we’re used to on this side of the Atlantic.
Europe is catching up though. Following its move from a Wednesday to a Saturday night, global TV audiences for the Champions League Final have grown by more than 50 per cent. The General Election is hot on its heels.
What sets the UK General Election apart from everything else is that of all the other events, it’s the only one which is played out outside of its native audience’s daylight hours. And that only adds to the mystique.
News channels, town halls and count centres come to life in the dead of night and we subconsciously feel like we are somewhere we shouldn’t be; like being in school at the weekend not wearing your uniform. Or that youthful abandon that can only achieved by running through a wheat field…
“It’s like Transfer Deadline Day on drugs,” quipped one of our team today. As constituencies flip flopped quicker than Peter Odemwingie on his way to QPR, Twitter and news channels were flooded with speculation and analysis of who was going where, with the whole world looking on in mild disbelief.
What’s taken these events to a new level in recent times is the shock factor; the drama of an initially improbably Brexit; the utter chaos of The Donald pulling a Frank Underwood and claiming the White House; and the outcome of a Conservative majority collapsing into a hung parliament. There have been shocks before, of course, but they happened without 24-hour media coverage and the social media juggernaut.
We, the public, are ultimately consumers of the drama and on recent evidence we can’t get enough of it.
Outside politics and big scale events, midnight launches of games like the FIFA series have been responsible for countless lost work hours as dedicated players camp outside their local shops or arrange midnight delivery through services like Amazon Prime Now and get set to play until their eyes demand respite. Game of Thrones series openers and similar could be counted but perhaps not yet on the same scale.
The trend is growing though, and there’s an opportunity for brands to capitalise on our love of the illicit all-nighter. With the right product, positioning and release strategy there is room for the next FIFA, Game of Thrones or even Superbowl.
The question is, what will be our next all-nighter?
Alternatively, we could just lock ourselves in a dark room and rejoice in the return of Taylor Swift’s back catalogue to Spotify.