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Global Study Finds Consumers Are Open to AI Companions BUT Are Worried About Maintaining Human Connections

New York, NY, May 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Momentum Worldwide, a global experiential marketing agency that is part of Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), has released the findings of a global study that uncovers consumers' willingness to use AI to connect with each other and the world around them, as 93% encounter difficulty making new friends or joining new communities.

The Connecting Consumers report by Momentum Worldwide found technology is seen as an enabler to connections, with 46% open to an AI or augmented-reality companion that offers advice and companionship. However, there is caution around technology with 88% saying there is room for advanced technology in their lives if it doesn’t take over, and 70% worried human connections will be lost as AI continues to grow. This reflects a deeper implication: with the rise of AI, there's an increasing desire for genuine human interaction. 66% of people would prefer to remain single than resort to companionship with an AI, highlighting the irreplaceable value of human connection amongst technological advancements.

Yet consumers identified how brands can help bridge the gap with making real connections. 83% expressed a higher appreciation for brands that promote genuine connections with communities. Brands who foster connections are rewarded; 75% feel a sense of belonging by connecting with fellow fans of the same brand. 80% find brands encouraging consumer connections show they prioritize consumer wellbeing. Interestingly, despite technological advancements, 51% of consumers still prefer the authenticity of an imperfect human customer service representative over the efficiency of a nearly flawless AI chatbot. Momentum can help brands understand and embrace these learnings, positioning marketers to better meet the needs of today’s consumers.

Consumers have evolved from 2014 when they desired experiences they could boast about on social media or to friends as “social currency” to 2019’s goal of joy and escapism, to now, where consumers are looking for connections above all else. Connections to communities with similar interests, existing friends and family, and to make new connections with people. 66% identified fostering connection as the most crucial habit or activity for leading a happy and healthy life.

“Consumers need and desire for connections is undeniable,” commented Elena Klau, Chief Strategy & Product Officer at Momentum Worldwide. Technology has the potential to unite people as a powerful companion, not a replacement for human interactions. AI, VR and mixed reality are tools we can use to enable better connections. Yet, currently, people are feeling lonelier, lost and more disconnected than ever. Alain de Botton famously wrote: ‘What we long for and are slowly dying without is: community.’ Brands need to learn the delicate technology balance with consumers as they have a genuine opportunity to bridge the gaps in society—to close the perception of what there is and fulfill the reality of consumer’s needs.”

Adam Cotumaccio, Chief Operating Officer at 4As, commented exclusively on the findings. “Experiences are vital in our lives, and shared ones are particularly impactful, linking us with friends, family, and sometimes strangers. Technology can facilitate connections, but it also risks isolating us by substituting or fabricating genuine interactions. Adversity, love, enjoyment, compassion, and laughter form the DNA of an individual's growth. Technology should enhance these elements, not replace them. Finding the right balance is crucial for brands and their experiential marketing strategies."

One respondent commented, “As a civilization we're not connecting on a deep level with each other, and this connection is getting shallower and shallower.” Momentum Worldwide has created an “Experiential Helix” utilizing the insights from the “Connecting Consumers” study that identifies four core areas businesses need to address to facilitate and foster greater connections with human interactions by harnessing technology.

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About Interpublic
Interpublic (NYSE: IPG) (www.interpublic.com) is a values-based, data-fueled, and creatively-driven provider of marketing solutions. Home to some of the world’s best-known and most innovative communications specialists, IPG global brands include Acxiom, Craft, FCB, FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, IPG Health, IPG Mediabrands, Jack Morton, KINESSO, MAGNA, McCann, Mediahub, Momentum, MRM, MullenLowe Global, Octagon, R/GA, UM, Weber Shandwick and more. IPG is an S&P 500 company with total revenue of $10.89 billion in 2023.


About Momentum Worldwide
Momentum Worldwide is a global experience agency partnering with and transforming the world’s most famous brands since 1987. Built on the simple truth that it’s not what brands say, it’s what they do that matters, the agency blends creativity, technology, strategy, design and execution to change the world and impact culture. Agency accolades include Cannes Lions, Effies, Clios, Agency of the Year, Best Place to Work, and industry-leading Sustainability practices. Learn more by visiting www.momentumww.com.    

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Contact Information
Anna Dalziel
Momentum
anna.dalziel@momentumww.com

Tom Cunningham
IPG
(212) 704-1326


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