Mecca Land. Australia’s makeup festival in Sydney where adults have the chance to enter a simulation of fun, excitement and glow up. Like the example of Disney Land given by Jean Baudrillard (the required text for this week), Mecca Land is also a simulation because it is an alternative world, where one can go back in time to play in ball pits, arcade games and wear patched denim jackets.
“It’s meant to be an infantile world, in order to make us believe that the adults are elsewhere, in the “real” world, and to conceal the fact that real childishness is everywhere, particularly among those adults who go there to act the child in order to foster illusions of their real childishness”
Much like Disney “You park outside, queue up inside, and are totally abandoned at the exit.” However arguably, Mecca’s primary aim is to build repeat customers. Consequently rather than abandonment one will leave with Mecca products, arousing mental associations with the event and brand every time the product is used.
As discussed by Ted in the lecture, credibility and perceived social acceptance is not obtained through physically owning something, but by showing others that you own it. Similarly, rather than being someone who lives in a world of pure fun and excitement 24/7, we can create that perception by wearing the Mecca brand showing we are a fun and exciting person.This is elucidated through the Mecca branding video below that has very little focus on the makeup and a large emphasis on the fun, playful personality that you can have by using Mecca products:
Not only has Mecca created a physical simulation, characterised by the things inside that people can touch, see and smell, it also exists in an online form where the Mecca Land website has been altered to seem as though one is using an early 2000’s browser. As claimed by Jean B “When the real is no longer what it used to be, nostalgia assumes its full meaning.” The site is not a complete simulation because there is still relation to the world as we know it. However on Baudrillard’s scale the website seeks to mask and pervert a basic reality where users are asked to see beyond their current browser and delve into an authentic, retro reality:
This ideology is further reiterated by McLuhan’s Medium being the Message as a simple browser formatting change allows the viewer to consider the medium through which they are receiving information, and question how site layout, colour and atmosphere can alter their interpretation.