Transcendent times

Wunderman Thompson has released its new trend report entitled “The age of re-enchantment,” detailing how brands can help consumers “transcend tough times by creating emotion-inducing experiences that deliver feelings of joy, wonder, and even fear.”

The report argues that, due to the unease and uncertainty created by the global events of the past few years, people are searching for things that are joyful, magical and even awe-inspiring or terrifying.

Wunderman Thompson’s research consultancy, Sonar, gathered data for the report from 3,009 adults (aged 18+) in the UK, US and China.

There are so many exciting technological developments out there, but we are in living in an age where there is potentially a fine line between feeling like the world is at our fingertips, versus feeling burnt out or ground down by how immediate everything is because of this. The trend report touches on this, with 67 per cent of research respondents agreeing that technology makes them feel detached from the world. Interestingly, 85 per cent of respondents also said that “people seem to have less time for one other these days.” How many of us can say that they’ve ignored messages from multiple people because the effort of more typing and scrolling feels like too much in that moment?

The age of re-enchantment states that we are living in a “joy deficit,” and so brands have a responsibility of re-introducing this, along with “delighting” consumers by surprising them and presenting them with the unexpected. One of the most interesting parts of the report delves deeper into the psychology of fear and horror, and how creating “goosebump moments” in the consumer experience can really elevate a brand. This can also be related to emotional responses, too.

A significant 70 per cent of respondents to the Wunderman Thompson research said that they couldn’t remember the last time a brand did something that excited them. However, the report shines a light on many immersive and out-of-the-box campaigns, products and concepts to be inspired by.

Having just finished my Metpack review for the CanTech June 2023 edition, I can happily say that I am not one of the 70 per cent above. Can innovations have the ability to evoke much admiration and wonder, whether that is through different shapes, varnishes & effects, thermochromic inks or interactive campaigns using QR codes on packaging.

Just today, I have come across Canpack’s Aperol Wave. This is a recent development from the company’s graphics team, created with Special Solar Ink so that certain parts of the design change when in the sun compared to the shade. Take a closer look here.

The Aperol Wave represents a branding concept that not only creates a memorable consumer experience, but one which pulls its inspiration from the natural world. With summer on my mind, the Aperol Wave is definitely enchanting me.

To access the Wunderman Thompson trend report, click here.

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