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Publicity Stunts Consumer Insights

Outdoor Branding
During COVID-19, brands are emphasizing the importance of socializing outdoors
Trend - In an attempt to encourage consumers to socialize outdoors despite changes in temperature, brands are launching seasonal products and experiences that make COVID-19 restrictions a little bit more bearable. Playful in nature, these activations also reinforce government-imposed restrictions.

Insight - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many are finding it increasingly difficult to follow the strictness of the government-imposed health and safety guidelines and this is especially true for those living in places where it gets cold in the winter. In light of this, individuals are looking for ways to diversify the outdoor social experience, which will allow them to feel more uplifted and encourage them to continue their effort to help "flatten the curve."
Workshop Question - How can your brand help consumers navigate COVID-19 lockdowns?
8.2
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Nostalgic Alcohol
Childhood nostalgia is paired with alcohol to draw the attention of Millennials
Trend - Restaurants and brands are offering alcoholic beverages in packaging that taps the childhood nostalgia of consumers of age. Offered in various formats, including juice boxes, these novelty products are often paired with an Instagrammable aesthetic.

Insight - Adult consumers often reminisce about experiences from their childhood and as a result, nostalgia becomes a primary factor in purchasing decisions—especially for those who are part of the Millennial demographic. When confronted with a product that conjures memories of their younger self, individuals tend to be overcome not only by a sense of curiosity but also by a desire to indulge and be transported back to simpler times.
Workshop Question - How can your brand tap nostalgia to draw in consumer attention?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Delivery Marketing
Brands use limited time delivery offers to market specific products
Trend - Tapping into the popularity of delivery services and how commonplace they've become in consumers' lives, brands are promoting products through limited-run delivery offers. Providing both a low-friction experience for the consumer as well as a sense of novelty, this marketing approach mixes many different forces to create a memorable experience.

Insight - Consumers are increasingly concerned with convenience as they become accustomed to smart technology that empowers them through their daily routines–whether that's in their personal or professional lives. Thus, when choosing which brands to be loyal to, consumers value brands that prioritize a streamlined and simple purchase journey.
Workshop Question - What are some ways you could use delivery marketing as a way to get consumers interested in your brand's offerings?
5.4
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Bold Unbranding
Big brands opt for no logos to showcase the weight and relevance of their brand
Trend - As efforts toward greater authenticity and brand loyalty continue to thrive, we're seeing a rise in unbranded, logo-less tactics–often from well-known companies. Not necessarily looking to move away from heritage or legacy, these brands are relying on the iconic imagery, aesthetics or references to their products to connect with consumers. These unbranded examples are serving to create more approachable identities for brands, allowing consumers to better connect with product references and emotional connections.

Insight - Brand recognition among consumers is crucial, however consumers' contemporary purchase habits often place just as much emphasis on product experience as they do branding. Consumers are drawn to experiences because they're often inherently shareable–and most young North Americans prioritize how their daily and brand interactions can be translated onto social media.
Workshop Question - How might you better connect with consumers through more subtle, unbranded tactics?
5.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Branded Mockery
Brands poke fun at their rivals in bolder, call-out strategies
Trend - Beyond social media battles and light-hearted exchanges, brands in QSR all the way to fashion are taking more risks through activations and real-world campaigns that call out their competitors in negative, albeit humorous, ways. These examples speak to the evolution of brand identities and willingness to take risks when it comes to consumer communication and messaging in the public space.

Insight - In the era of eco-consciousness and social media-driven transparency, big-brand skepticism is very commonplace. Consumers -- especially those who are more social media-literate -- are therefore tougher to market to. Humor is something this group responds positively to as it communicates more authenticity than say, fact-based or aspirational marketing.
Workshop Question - What risks are you willing to take to be more open and transparent with your consumers in terms of outlining your value proposition?
5.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Youth-Targeted Burger
Burger chains project youthfulness with viral-worthy publicity stunts
Implications - Following in the same vein as fast pizza chains, burger brands are pursuing viral status with campaigns that play up Millennial and Gen Z interests such as coveted sneaker releases and tech-enabled custom ordering. This shift highlights the youthful nature of successful QSR branding and the resonant power of connecting authentically with discerning Millennial and Gen Z consumers.
Workshop Question - How can your brand court millennial consumers by adopting youthful fads to create viral-worthy campaigns?
6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Self-Reflexive Campaign
High-end fashion brands subvert the norm with self-aware ad campaigns
Implications - Luxury fashion brands are increasingly creating subversive campaigns that reflect celebrity and meme culture in order to champion authenticity through critical self-awareness. This shift highlights the need for brands to find new, evolved ways of communicating accessibility through self-reflexive irony rather than looking to connect with consumers through aspirational images of luxury.
Workshop Question - How can your brand convey authenticity by incorporating a self-reflexive view of your industry's culture into marketing material?
5.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Experiential Whisky
Whisky brands look to gain favor with millennials with memorable campaigns
Implications - By incorporating technological innovations and serving as gatekeepers to one-of-a-kind experiences, whisky brands are looking to resonate with young consumers by making a lasting impression that buoys the product to cult status. This shift speaks to the ability of brands to connect with new groups of consumers by providing access to experiences in order to power the perception of a product with social currency.
Workshop Question - What new experiences can you marry with an older product offering in order to refresh brand image in the eyes of younger consumers?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Explorer Activation
Tourism brands host immersive activations that aim to inspire travel
Implications - Often leveraging tech tools such as virtual reality, tourism brands are launching aspirational campaigns that aim to inspire consumer travel with immersive activation experiences that blend entertainment and product education. This progression highlights the need to meet consumers in the physical spaces they occupy on a daily basis and the opportunity of brand activations to serve a moments of product education and brand awareness.
Workshop Question - What elements of your product could be better grasped by consumers through a hands-on experience such as a brand activation?
6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Celebratory Lifestyle
Champagne brands cater to modern consumers with unique promotions
Implications - Champagne brands are using brand activations and unique partnerships to cultivate an air of accessibility that balances out their status as luxury brands. This progression highlights the need for all brands to maneuver themselves in order to break free from the constraints of a brand heritage that is so strong it may appear to consumers as unrelatable.
Workshop Question - How can you highlight your brand's dedication to inclusivity?
5.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends