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The Lost Lagoon. Courtesy of Bompas & Parr

With unease growing daily due to concerns over political instability, dire warnings of climate change and looming economic uncertainty, consumers are looking for fun and diverting escapes. Millennials and Xennials in particular are increasingly seeking out nostalgic and playful releases from responsibilities. In fact, JWT Intelligence’s SONAR research shows that consumers are rebelling against traditional ‘adulthood’ and embracing a more carefree mentality: 52% of Americans aged 20-29 and 47% of those aged 30-45 believe that people never truly become adults.

Brands and bars are catching on, serving up drinks with a side of play. In London, Bompas & Parr invite guests to channel their inner-child at their latest culinary experience, The Lost Lagoon. Created in partnership with Diageo’s Captain Morgan Rum and Scout cocktail bar, the pop-up event takes adventuresome cocktails to a whole new level.

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The Lost Lagoon. Courtesy of Bompas & Parr

The experience begins in an abandoned warehouse, where guests are formed into crews. They are then taught a classic rum punch recipe chant and blind-folded to be led to the first character actor who gives them a treasure map. Having removed their blindfolds, crews set off in their own self-paddled boat in a huge underground lagoon to collect the ingredients detailed on the map from a range of characters who pose challenges before they give up the goods. The budding buccaneers receive up to three cocktails included with their tickets, which cost between £25-£45 depending on when they embark on their adventure. Part treasure hunt, part mixology lesson, the Lost Lagoon fuels the explosion of experience culture and taps into consumer’s growing desire to inject playfulness into their lives.

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The Lost Lagoon. Courtesy of Bompas & Parr
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Proving consumers are willing to pay to play, Flight Club, the London-based Social Darts club popular with millennials, recently secured £5 million in growth capital in order to open up more venues across the UK – they already have three in London, one in Manchester and even one in Chicago. Meanwhile, tickets sold out for The Monster UK, which claims to be the world’s largest inflatable obstacle course. It travelled around the UK last year bringing with it 300m of inflatable course, street food stalls, cocktail bars, DJs and giant ball pits – all adults only, of course.

Today’s consumers are looking for a little whimsy and fun to relieve everyday pressures. Brands that insert a bit of playfulness into their products or services are valued for their ability to put a smile on peoples’ faces and help them forget, just for a moment, that maybe they are supposed to be adults.

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