Amsterdam – Ask the Dutch about the most troubling day of the year, and they’ll probably answer it’s the FFF – the First Friday of Fall. It’s the start of that weekend in late September when temperatures start dropping, the perpetual clouds start forming and people realize that the few weeks of sun in the park were just a cruel mirage. From then on, the weather forecast is nothing but the perfect storm that leads to hibernation. It makes sense, then, that soundware brand Sonos chose this particular day for the local launch of Comfy Season, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of autumnal nesting.
But there’s another type of perfect storm brewing outside the confines of the Sonos Home in central Amsterdam: millennials everywhere have become homebodies, no matter the season.
Think about it: today, the fun comes to you. Netflix, Mubi, Foodora, Deliveroo, Spotify, Soundcloud, Tinder, Bumble and Grindr render unnecessary the act of going out to the movies, to eat, to find out about new music, to flirt, to cruise. As a matter of fact, that specific age group is complaining about what a drag it is to go out clubbing – don’t believe us? As nightclubs close by the dozen in London, a legendary institution such as the Ministry of Sound just decided to launch a co-working space. Remote working is a thing. Sheet-mask selfies and sleep memes are all the rage, and bedsheets and mattress companies are suddenly captivating for young consumers. And tellingly, online shopping is more than the growing monster that has been threatening to eat up brick-and-mortar – it’s also the title of the Faberyayo music video shot at the Sonos Home.
There's nothing like going from ADSL to DHL
Let’s hit the expand button: Faberyayo is the artistic moniker of Pepijn Lanen, a rapper from Utrecht and long a staple of the Dutch neo hip-hop scene. Unlike some (admittedly catchy) local acts in the line of Kraantje Pappie, Bizzey and Lil’ Kleine, Lanen has no intention of sounding like he’s from warmer latitudes. Quite the contrary: both his beat selection and his inventive use of the notoriously unmellifluous Dutch language place him squarely in the lowlands. As a sampler, that particular track warns that things are about to get real fucking comfortable, that he’s often ballin’ so hard he’s going to break these laptops and that there’s nothing like going from ADSL to DHL.
And Sonos, responding accordingly with their product lineup, chose the song as its autumn anthem and the name of the album, Comfy Season, as its flag – the music video for the former was shot at the Sonos Home. Take, for example, the Beam featured heavily in the clip: the recently launched soundbar is not only a technical marvel – reviewers have called it ‘one of the best performance-per-pound products’ the company has produced – but also shows how much attention they paid during the research stage to the unspoken needs of this target group.
Why is it so compact, barely seven centimetres high and 10 times that length? Because many millennials are still renters and can’t afford to drill their TVs to the wall, so they use stands – the Beam was made to fit in that small leftover space between the furniture and the screen. It is also designed to elegantly blend in with the background, no wires or buttons in sight, as people have expectedly become more judicious with every minute detail in the way they style their homes. It is also almost half the price of the Playbar, their other soundbar model. In other words: this was a device built for the socioeconomic, streaming, videogaming and Alexa-ing needs of this particular consumer.