By Jason Levine, Creative Director
It’s hard to talk about pandemic life – AKA the “new abnormal” – without mentioning the dreaded “C” word. It’s everything and everywhere right now. So in this article, we’ve decided not to say its name again.
This is not to diminish the fact that the most sobering fight remains on the frontlines, where brave healthcare and essential workers alike are saving lives while risking their own every day. Nor are we ignoring the other fact that the global economy and the job market are both in rough shape; the future of both is a challenge to predict* on a good day, let alone now.
And yet, many of us have adjusted to the compulsive hand-washing, mask-wearing, remote-working and home-schooling era – actually, teachers, you have our eternal praise and respect and we’ll never, ever adjust – there have been a few trends that have emerged along the way. Well, perhaps these are more observations than full-on trends… but, hey, they also happen to start with the letter C, which is cool.
Hard to imagine an industry more prescient and ahead of the curve than contactless. From click-and-collect to tap-to-pay, is anyone surprised contactless payments are up 40% in 2020? Feels like cash is headed for an early retirement.
Also hard to imagine a workplace that isn’t headed for a closing up of all that open-concept space. While these new “walls” may be made of acrylic, at least they’ll help us redefine our boundaries and prevent less unannounced over-the-shoulder feedback from colleagues. Whenever we head back to the office, if at all, personal space is going to be a thing again.
These aren’t easy times. But as they say, if you don’t laugh, you cry. A lot. Plus, where there’s laughter, there’s hope. Even if many of us are resorting to lower-on-the-totem pole manic-sessions on –Tik-Tok to receive it, comedy – especially in its most prophetic standup form – is in good standing. So get working on your 30-minute set, if you haven’t already. The same goes for brands. There’s more than one way to be of service to the public, including making them smile.
Competitive Sports Nostalgia
Remember last year? Remember getting together with friends and family to cheer on your city and country? We can all get by without knowing who’s going to win what trophy next, but the billions in revenue and the hundreds of thousands of jobs do actually matter to millions. Here’s one way people are trying to cope. While this is incredibly random (less so, thanks to John Oliver’s sponsorship) this is the type of lateral thinking that can help bring fans to your organization, too.
Excuse us, content, but there’s a new king. Comfort food (some which also start with a C), comfortable clothing, comfort television, comfort from prayer and meditation have all had a surge in sales. Casual business is now a new dress code.
So what does this all mean? At minimum, the bridge is gone – there’s no going back to normal. But we’re a resilient bunch. Despite all that’s transpired, we continue to move forward and this (precedent-setting pandemic) too shall pass. Eventually. In the meantime, do your best to keep calm and stay in your condo**.
*This article from our venerable Director of Social Media and Analytics makes some smart predictions about Purpose.
**Or wherever you call home, obvs.