Brands are helping people through tough times by transporting them to emotion-inducing experiences. It is unsurprising in today’s times of uncertainty that people are seeking out experiences that help make sense of the world or let them escape it. If we look at history, this has often been fulfilled via religion, art, literature, and theatre, but brands are discovering their role in creating a hopeful, uplifting, and joyful world that supports their communities, which post-pandemic has become a key focus for a lot of brands.
“Twice as many people say they are likely to buy from brands that bring them a sense of joy”.
As a society during the pandemic, we had a moment to reflect on our personal lives and the world, both past and present. The result was a combined experience of unification and isolation. Now the future of pre-paramedic life has come around and for many, it has not lived up to expectations. A recent survey from Wunderman Thompson found that 25% of people say they are positive about the way things are going, while 74% of participants feel like they are waiting for something good to happen. Combined with “a constant drone of content” (Kenneth Carter, Charles Howard Candle) and brands having to fight for attention, people are becoming “tired and burned out all the time” and “more detached from the real world (67%)”.
The result is that people are looking to rebuild connections and communities by immersing themselves in something of their preference. Studies have found that “twice as many people say they are likely to buy from brands that bring them a sense of joy”. Brands have an opportunity to become the place that fulfills these needs by acting as the conduit to escape.
"89% of people see fun as a necessity that keeps them going in tough times"
Barbie provides a moment of escapism through joy, fun, and nostalgia
Barbie takes on a unique and powerful idea by immersing viewers in 'her world' with the much-anticipated new movie. Based on the trailers, the film is expected to provide a world of joy and playful nostalgia. By allowing viewers to transport themselves into her brighter world, people can immerse themselves in storytelling and escape real life.
Mattel agreed to a cinematic vision of a present-day Barbie, which Gerta Gerwig directs. The response to the movie has reinforced this, as the hashtag #BarbieTheMovie generated 7.5 million engagements on the day of the teaser trailer, and 'content mentioning 'Barbie' generated 18 million engagements on social media' with the marketing team creating clever trends such as the 'Barbie Selfie Generator' taking over social media from both people and brands (Maite Azkuna). The response to the film is not surprising as a recent study from Wunderman Thompson's found that 89% of people see fun as a necessity that keeps them going in tough times, while 83% seek out experiences that bring them joy and happiness. Barbie has turned people's perspectives of the brand around whilst uplifting and engaging the world with the new movie.
"83% (of people) seek out experiences that bring them joy and happiness"
Xydrobe's experiential concept will fully immerse people in this luxury retail brand.
The new experiential concept for luxury retail created by Xydrobe will fully immerse people in the vision and ideology of a brand. The “one-person experience pod” is taking luxury shopping from predictable to astonishing with its concept to stimulate the senses and visually mesmerise people. According to Lloyd-Malcolm, the strategy behind this new concept is to “provide an outlet for brands to start engaging with storytelling that’s on a similar level to big blockbuster Hollywood movies.”
Xydrobes will officially open in 2023 and aims to evoke an emotional reaction through VR, scent, temperature, wind, and sound effects. This will allow people to be fully immersed in situations that otherwise would not be possible, allowing them to escape with and into a brand, and from the real world.
Tonic DNA's new psychedelic animation JUMP allows viewers to transcend reality.
The groundbreaking new short film JUMP, created by Tonic DNA, pushes the boundaries of animation, leaving the audience guessing how it was made. The unique style, combining 2D and 3D, is a welcomed break from the current obsession with photorealism. Viewers are permitted to step into a ‘psychedelic’ surrealistic, mind-bending world that offers complete escapism by “giving you this ability to transcend reality for just a few moments” (Malcolm Sutherland, JUMP’s animation director).
The brand has redefined its position in animation with a new type of narrative and content that is expected to be a significant watershed moment for the industry, which without a doubt, will have a trickle-down effect on everything creative.
"25% of people say they are positive about the way things are going"
Glastonbury’s Shangri-La narrative unites people with art and silly escapism.
People have visited Glastonbury as a form of escapism since the 1970s, and the branding, narrative, and storytelling inside the festival have continued to grow to let people immerse themselves in a different world. The Shangri-La stage at Glastonbury has an ongoing reputation and dedication to community, collaboration, and activism, and this year's theme, "Everything Must Go", is no different.
The design and narrative of the space is inspired by the decline of British high streets and how independent shops can occupy derelict spaces. Full of contradictions, the storytelling allows people to see more "fun and silly" elements, trying to encourage people to "find the joy and beauty in everyday life", according to Creative director Kaye Dunnings. She continued to explain that the area is 'focused more on escapism and "building something ridiculous"' (Design Week) by creating theatre through referencing the outside world and "uniting people through art".
Creativity is welcomed with open arms in times of uncertainty
Wes Anderson invites you to escape into his technicolour world
Wes Anderson gives fans a chance to fully immerse themselves into his new film ‘Asteroid City’ with the exhibition at 180 Studios, London that includes sets, props, costumes, artwork, and a recreation of the diner featured in the movie. The whole experience reflects Anderson's mind and signature style, visuals, and soundscapes.
This is not the first time he has had exhibitions of his films. The on-screen worlds Anderson creates act as an escape from reality for many, but by going one step further and allowing people to be in his world physically, people will make deeper emotional connections and memories.
Wes Anderson is a 'brand' that many should look to with his distinct, unique, and memorable style. As younger generations favour video content, brands should look to people who already have an instantly recognizable style that fans often replicate.
Aldi's accessible vineyard ensures that joyful experiences aren't sacrificed by affordability
Aldi's 'Specialbuy Vineyard Experience' allows guests to escape into the world of English sparkling wine. Whilst most vineyard tours cost upwards of £40, Aldi has ensured that their experience aligns with the brand's ethos and that their consumer can attend with tickets costing the same as a single glass of Aldi's English sparkling wine, just £2.67.
The brand has understood how it can offer positive escapism through experiences and the importance of not sacrificing them due to affordability, allowing people to escape the stress that the current cost of living challenges and be immersed in not just British wine but Aldi's values.
A summary of what's in this edition -
Trend Recap: Brands providing immersive escapism
Brands are helping people through tough times by transporting them to emotion-inducing experiences. It is unsurprising in today’s times of uncertainty that people are looking for more forms of both escapism and sense-making of the world.
People are looking to rebuild connections and communities and escape by being immersed in something of their choosing. A Wunderman-Thompson study finds that 89% of people see fun as a necessity that keeps them going in tough times, while 83% seek out experiences that bring them joy and happiness. Brands are starting to release their place in fulfilling these needs and acting as the conduit to escape as studies show “twice as many people say they are likely to buy from brands that bring them a sense of joy”.
1. Personal Innovation Favourite: Barbie provides a moment of escapism through joy, fun, and nostalgia.
Barbie takes on a unique and powerful strategy by immersing viewers in ‘her world’ with the much-anticipated new movie. By providing pure joy and playful nostalgia, viewers are given the chance to escape the real world. Whilst Barbie is able to reinvent her narrative through storytelling, reinforcing a position as a freshly relevant and iconic brand.
2. People are actively seeking out immersive experiences that help them get respite from the stresses of today.
3. Brands that provide experiences that provoke joyful and positive emotions will better their long-term relationship and trust with their communities.