2020 has been nothing short of a train wreck. We have been through the unimaginable and surely, this is an event that will be spoken about for centuries hereafter. This has also been a year of several recalibrations – putting the focus on family, health, environment, mental well-being and most importantly, remote working.
While the year is over, we can’t say the same about the pandemic, and hence the sentiments of this year will reverberate through 2021 as well. Be it on social media or mainline advertising, here are a few themes that we see continuing in communications over the next year.
Care: Facebook dropped a whole new button around ‘care’ to allow users to show empathy and support towards each other. Instead of blatantly talking about their products, brands are promoting the experience that the products can provide to make these hard times seem better. From grooming videos to home workout videos, brands are helping consumers take care of their physical and mental wellness. This has been a dominating theme for 2020 and will continue to take center stage. Brands will most likely shape their communication to display greater empathy and could do well to build in more personal touch into their service and delivery model.
Family bonds: The start of the pandemic saw people spend more time and have greater shared experience with their immediate family, while also re-establishing connections with their distant relatives. However, the prolonged work from home culture has started showing its effects. From missing your family back home to being with them 24×7 is a change that feels like mixed blessings. There are so many ways that narratives could be built around this change ranging from emotional to feel good to humorous, each hitting home and establishing an authentic connection with the audience. We look forward to a lot of stories around this theme.
Nostalgia: Millennials have been charged with being too obsessed with the past, but let’s face it- who isn’t? If the heavy influx of period dramas and films on OTT platforms is any indicator, nostalgia and local, earthy stories are what rule the roost. Looking back, one thing that’s really hitting home is the growing lack of human connection and the old way of life. Nostalgia around the recent past as well as the previous decades would definitely be a theme for 2021. Whether it is user generated content or brand communication, nostalgia is a flavour to savour.
Discovery: Hospitality took a big turn when Airbnb changed its narrative to focus on experiences around us. With restrictions on travel and socializing avenues, discovering all things local and digital has emerged as the new trend. People are also increasingly discovering new interests and hobbies with their time indoors. While Zoom fatigue is a real thing, people are making the most of their time to indulge in something new. We see that as an important theme for conversations online.
Reinvent: The WHO has warned that pandemics could get far more common and dangerous if we continue destroying our planet. Consumers are becoming very vocal about what they want and what they care about. With rising concern for the environment and the future, consumers want brands to adopt more sustainable means of doing business. Few products on ecommerce giant Amazon.com have already embraced reduced packaging. Brands that will take the leap to project themselves as environmentally conscious are sure to earn more brownie points with the consumer.
With these broad indications, 2021 surely seems like a year to watch out for. Let’s stay glued to see what comes up next!
Authored Article by Sunidhi Garg, Co-founder & Director of Reverse Thought Creative Studios