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It has been a total of 95 days since the first confirmed case of this invisible monster was reported in Wuhan. Since then it has constantly been in the news, on our social media channels, and discussed amongst family, friends, and colleagues. There is absolutely no escaping it.
Fortunately, the vast majority of people who contract the bug will not experience anything life-threatening and many more will remain perfectly healthy. That being said, it is my personal opinion that the measures our local and national governments are taking to subdue the spread are well warranted and necessary. Shutting down places of social gathering and limiting travel will help to mitigate the spread and reduce strain on our medical facilities/staff.
Even though the masses of the human population will not perish from this microscopic threat, the virus does have another target - consumerism.
Marketing and advertising traditionally have always been about pushing the latest and greatest products on individuals. Using sneaky subliminal messages and psychology to get a person to buy was the way to promote your brand.
This cycle leads individuals to make more and more purchases of products or services that ultimately don’t bring value to our lives. Our homes may be filled with a multiplicity of possessions but our souls are left empty.
With the drastic and abrupt change in our daily lives, we no longer can go out and be frivolous with our spending. We are forced to self reflect, spend time with our families, and help those in need in our communities. In essence, we have unwillingly been directed to focus on the people and resources that truly matter to us.
I heard someone mention the other day about how they now have time to play card games with their kids at the end of the workday. That statement alone almost brought a tear to my eye. Families are sharing stories around the dinner table again. People are calling loved ones whom they haven’t talked to in a while. All of this human connection is because of this stinky bad disease.
Instead of seeing ads on social media, I now see PSAs of how companies are doing their part to help all of humanity. Brand influencers and celebrities are opening up their homes to live streamings of concerts, interviews, and other creative endeavors. I see families posting videos of cooking and laughing together at home. It is truly heartwarming to see all of the numerous positive actions happening around the globe during this time of “crisis”.
As this is becoming more and more our collective reality, we have to stop and ask ourselves, “what changes will persist through this remarkable time in human history?” One of the many possible outcomes I believe will forever be altered is the traditional consumerist approach to advertising.
The American consumer was already on a path towards change prior to the outbreak. Downsizing and minimalism are not new concepts to the American psyche. The current state of the world, however, has only helped to speed up that paradigm shift.
Sure, we can still buy a lot of useless items online nowadays, but will we? Just about every business sells through Amazon or on its own e-commerce site. But instead of being subject to the whims of our own desires, we now have a clearer vision of the things which bring real value to us and our communities.
Myself, Shaffer and the Lucid brand have always been a fan of the minimalistic approach. Our mission to tell purposeful and impactful stories is at the core of all we do.
Although Shaffer and I love watching commercials (don’t ask why…), we didn’t get into this business to make thirty-second advertisements geared towards frivolous spending. Lucid Cause was started to reach people on a more emotional level. And there is no better time to do that than now.
People want more meaning in their life. They are looking for products and services that add true value to their everyday routines. Most importantly they want stories to share with friends and family. If you or your brand want to prosper in this “new normal” then creating content with emotional quality, rather than superficial quantity, will be the path to success.
Welcome to the death of consumerism driven advertising and the birth of storytelling.