What will “open” mean in 2021?
With the FDA Approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, there seems to be real hope that America will return to some semblance of normalcy in the coming months. We’re counseling advertisers to begin thinking about their return-to-open strategy. They need to be prepared to take advantage of consumers’ pent-up desires to hang out with friends and have the great experiences lost to 2020.
In crafting a reopening plan for physical locations, we need to ensure that the same strategic diligence that was put in place during the height of the pandemic is continued throughout 2021. And while vaccines are becoming available, the adoption and ultimate herd immunity will take time. During that window, there’s still a risk of people becoming infected and indoor locations becoming hotspots.
With a more optimistic view in mind, summer 2021 will absolutely be the moment where experiential marketing returns to the forefront. Music festivals, sporting events, and exhibitions will have even more traction and adoption from a public that has been completely overwhelmed with isolation. The desire to come back together is something that a brand should absolutely take advantage of and make sure that they are organically embedded within.
One of the outcomes of 10+ months of isolation and our changed habits is the tremendous amount of data around personal affinities driven by search and digital interaction. Using some of this info to shape brand strategy will help craft connection points with consumers who have been stuck in the house. It will also help create real-life experiences that will resonate with them and won’t have to compete with digital clutter.