Emerging Trend: The Need for Re-Enchantment
January 11, 2024
July 5, 2023
According to a new report from Wunderman Thompson, we as a collective are, to put it mildly, jaded.
While the pandemic may be starting to feel like a distant, bad memory at this point, its effects still have a stronghold on our outlook and behavior. In all areas of life, we are desensitized and looking for ways to feel something again, even if it’s something negative. This sentiment goes well beyond any generational or demographic markers; it’s truly a symptom of existing in this country, this world, at this current moment in time.
COVID brought us face to face with the fragility of life, and we cannot unsee it. On top of that, things weren't exactly peachy-keen before COVID — see: insurrections, dire climate warnings, wars (both political and cultural), and gun violence, to name a few. Years of dystopian downer after dystopian downer have left us struggling to find the joy, connection, and blissful ignorance we once enjoyed.
Enter: the age of re-enchantment.
Brands that can read the zeitgeist’s room and appropriately empathize, commiserate, and/or help consumers achieve their desired state will win. But how do they do that?
Below are some key takeaways from Wunderman’s re-enchantment report that we as marketers need to understand to show up for our consumers in meaningful ways.
People need joy more than ever, especially in the form of fun + surprise.
The joy deficit is substantial, and a key driver is a lack of spontaneity and awe that leaves us feeling numb and underwhelmed. As marketers, we can use this as an opportunity to break our audiences out of their routines, especially as they relate to our products. Consider what parts of your user experience are running on autopilot, and try to turn those moments on their head.
"Its not wether you get knocked down"
If you could be anyone you wanted to be, who would you be? How exciting is it to think that you could start a new chapter in your life in a whole new world? Without the limitations of the physical world and human constructs that have been created around you?
Well that’s where the Metaverse comes in. There are whole new worlds being created out there that will remove the physical limitations of life and allow you to chase your dreams and be who you want to be.
Sounds pretty exciting right? Let’s dig in a little more to understand what this might look like.
SO, WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?
Simply put, the Metaverse is the convergence of all the digital things you do online into one virtual experience.
In a sense, it already exists. We sit on Zoom calls, research on the web, talk on social media, buy things on Amazon, watch streaming events and online video, and play games. The Metaverse is already here.
But think of tying all of it together and removing some of the limitations that still exist in your physical life when you access the web.
But how is this all of the sudden now possible?
Brand campaigns / communications that don’t evoke the feels, don’t get remembered.
Simply existing in the chaos + turmoil of today's world is an experience that evokes seemingly endless spurts of intense emotions. What that means for marketers is that more than a catchy message or slogan is needed to stick in the minds of consumers. Instead, brands worth remembering will do so by leaving an emotional impression. This means it’s time to really dig into the inner lives of your consumers and create marketing that taps into real human truths in their lives – and the less talked about (own that conversation!), the better – especially considering how you are affecting each of their senses with your work.
Brands need to help consumers feel seen + ok about being human / imperfect.
There may have been a time when consumers expected brands to focus on the positive, but that reality is long gone, folks. Today, if a brand wants to forge a real connection with their audience, they need to show them that they understand the FULL SPECTRUM of their lived experience, not just the sunny side. One way this can come to life is by creating a safe space for brand loyalists to explore their emotions, both positive and negative. (perhaps inviting in non-brand loyalists in the process?)
We’re using dark content to help us grapple with a dark world.
As one existential threat after another continues to take a toll on all of us, a large swath is dealing with the resulting anxiety, helplessness and hopelessness by taking their emotions back into their own hands. They don’t want to be at the mercy of the world, and instead are preparing for the worst by flexing their horror muscles on their own terms. For brands already known for a darker ethos, this is permission to really put the pedal to the metal and capitalize on their cultural time to shine.