“Endless opportunities for brands to tap into this mindset as last year’s unbounded optimism shifts to an exuberant need for uplift and play.” Emma Chiu, Director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence
Don't have time to read it all? Here's a summary of what we will cover -
Trend Summary: Brands are stepping up during these challenging times with the opportunity to better connect with those looking for more joy in their lives.
1. Personal Innovation Favorite: LEGO's ‘Find Your Flow’ campaign encourages adults to wind down with play, music, and of course LEGO.
2. People are actively seeking joy, play, and happiness to help them escape from today's challenges.
3. Done in an authentic way, brands will be able to turn potential consumers into a connected and playful community.
And now the deeper dive -
This year has been marked by a slew of economic, political, and environmental challenges, leading to a general sense of negativity among many people. However, some brands are turning this into an opportunity to better connect with those seeking more joy, through playful ideas to help counteract growing anxieties. By tapping into this trend, brands are able to establish meaningful connections with their audiences. Wunderman Thompson's study, "Age of Re-enchantment" highlights that joy and play are critical to supporting people and they are more likely to choose brands that make them happy.
Lego’s ‘Find Your Flow’ encourages adults to relax with play, music and LEGO
LEGO continues to expand the brand's vision of inspiring play in everyone's lives, but this time with adults. The 'Find Your Flow' campaign, created with musician Tom Misch, encourages wellness by creative hobbies through the unexpected relaxational properties of LEGO whilst listening to a new genre of lo-fi music, 'Rhythm and Bricks'. The campaign responds to LEGO's 'Play Well' research, which has been investigating adult stress, play, and relaxation, and showing that joy and play are needed outlets for both children and adults.
Ulta Beauty's initiative to help people embrace and experience joy
A new long-term initiative is aimed at helping beauty consumers embrace and experience joy with ‘The Joy Project’ campaign, aiming to change how the next generation sees inner beauty. Ulta is looking at not only starting a conversation with consumers but are empowering their employees with ‘A Toolkit for Joy’ to change not only how they view themselves but ultimately to help empower consumers to do the same.
Lauren Martin's illustrations teach you how to clean Adidas’s trainers
This is a joyful and humorous way to help educate people on how to extend their trainers' lives, and in so helping reduce environmental waste. By incorporating joy into the branding, it is more likely that people will actively engage in what could have been purely a practical and functional idea.
Marmite launches a campaign encouraging young adults to experiment
This campaign features puppets trying Marmite for the first time through a series of suggestive scenarios. This is aimed to capture the attention of Gen Z Freshers to encourage them to try Marmite during a time when they might be experimenting, and why not with Marmite? The brand has tapped into this generation's love of humous content, as well as creating multiple playful online and physical interactive activations.
Miniso opens a Blind Box store, bringing excitement to retail
The blind box craze, which refers to collectibles that come in a sealed box to surprise shoppers has landed in London. Miniso, the Chinese lifestyle brand, has tapped into this TikTok trend with their new concept store, creating an immersive experience that brings playful excitement into retail.
The Young V&A is a powerhouse for creative activity and play
The mission of the Young V&A is to motivate Generation Alpha through nurturing curiosity, experimentation and celebrating play. The museum includes three permanent gallery spaces named Play, Imagine and Design and also includes changing exhibitions, and workshops that encourage joy, fun and excitement no matter the topic.
Our 4 key insights and the possible opportunities -
1. Joy and play must feel authentic and resonate with the brand's personality to genuinely connect with people.
2. Brands need to understand their consumer to know how to create the best form of escapism through joy and play.
3. If done successfully, play can help connect a brand's community, letting people feel a part of something bigger.
4. This will in turn mean people start to form a deeper connection and loyalty to a brand.