Did the pandemic resurrect #YOLO?

Marketing for the “unleashed” consumer in 2021+

Even before the vaccine rollout was announced late last year, think pieces across the globe were already touting: Pour yourself a Gin Rickey because we’re about to enter the Roaring Twenties!

All of the parallels are there. The end of a pandemic. A return to normalcy. Economic prosperity. A new wave of social awakening. And a world that’s ready to let loose and party again.

Whether we’re about to enter a decade-long period of reckless debauchery is up for debate, but it is not hard to imagine a world that is ready to live life again. We’ve been responsible with our gatherings, sensible with our finances, and frankly, at home for far too long. This “serious consumer” is on the cusp of freedom, which means #YOLO might be getting a second life in society.

So how might this resurgence of the fearless shopper manifest in our world of marketing?

Novelty will be sensory fuel. When every day is the same, even the smallest novelty can feel like fireworks. Kill your routine, and try something different with your messaging. Don’t lose your brand strategy, of course, but your audiences will gravitate to anything that feels fresh, different and unexpected. Fearlessness will be rewarded.

Higher tolerance for risk. Safe choices are so 2020. Risks, chance and thrills are what’s hot right now. Audiences are ready to “sample” the market with a newly formed “Why not?” attitude. This means your marketing should be just as brave and bold in order to break through the clutter. And your messaging can dare your customers to take a risk.

Me, me, me. We have been demanding social change, doing our part for the environment, educating ourselves on the experiences of others for the greater good of society, and wearing our masks not to protect ourselves, but to protect you. It’s been fulfilling, and we’ve made so much meaningful progress—but it’s been tiring. After the pandemic, it seems reasonable to think that people may allow themselves a few moments of selfishness. Adjust your messaging accordingly to focus more on the individual.

The old will feel new again. Just last week, we wrote about why long-form content may be on the verge of a Renaissance. Taking this idea through the lens of novelty, the same principles apply to your brand marketing. Review your brand strategy and encourage your audiences to rediscover why they fell in love with you in the first place. Now is the time to tap into nostalgia.

In the end, the next few years may not roar like the infamous ‘20s did, but as marketers, we must consider the effects this pandemic has had on your clients and customers. Let’s schedule a meeting to talk about what feelings and behaviors might be coming for your audiences, so we can be ahead of the game.

We will be ready with a Brandy Alexander to celebrate our successes together.



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