“The million, billion, trillion causes and effects that define our world impact our ways of living, thinking, and how we make choices. It can feel like this ever-shifting landscape is outgrowing us, pushing us to reinvent our habitual ways of doing and being.
Our previous report defined last year as the ‘era of care’. The spotlight was on caring for ourselves, each other, and the planet #selfcare. This increased consciousness has spurred urgency, to respond to changes rather than sit idle as they happen around us. The need to embrace spontaneity, immediacy, and uncertainty, has never been more clear. From personal to professional, on individual, social, and brand levels, adaptations have made us more resilient, more innovative, and, sometimes, more at ease. We’ve had to open our eyes to adapting, to be able to thrive in what we’ve dubbed the ‘era of change’.
Yes, us. We’re in this together.
Us and our relationships with each other all form an interconnected human web. We coexist, co-live, and co-survive. We are all, in some way, influencing and/or being influenced by the changes taking place in our world. Therefore, this shifting landscape we are a part of, and somehow co-create, directly involves shared responsibility, shared support and, consequently, shared action.
To see ourselves ready for action, we need both to truly feel and believe that we are enough, as well as to be part of a supportive system that inspires us and gives us reassurance that we’re going ‘in the right direction’. Here’s where communication, as a place for critical narrative-changing and inspiring story-telling, plays a huge role. Brands must learn to listen to societal shifts to fully be there for their communities in a trustworthy, inclusive and authentic way. We have to stay at the forefront of what ‘good old’ needs and values will stick with us , and which new ones have come to stay, striving for global impact through system-change driven campaigns whilst empowering the younger generations in their individual efforts to build a sustainable future.
When it comes down to ‘getting sustainable right’, many of us enter a kind of ‘paralysis mode’ – from companies not actually knowing where to consciously invest their finance, to individuals lacking the agency to believe they can make palpable change with their good intentions. And this happens across generations. There is a widespread assumption that increasing amounts of youngsters stand for social responsibility more than their predecessors – but do they have the tools to do anything about it? We need to ask ourselves; what are we doing to help them in the process?
For both Gen Z and Gen Alpha to be able to live up to their woke values, us advertisers have the responsibility to do our part – researching, studying and creating effective opportunities for real action and change making. But, how? The starting point seems clear: making an integral approach to sustainability the core of any business strategy – one that embraces the ethical fusion of environment, social equity and economics. The focus is now not only on building eco-friendly businesses, but also ones that prioritize health and well-being, as well as diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
Speaking of a future where we can co-exist and keep connected, we must stay at the forefront of what is increasingly dictating our ways of going about in life; the digital world. We’ve only recently started to understand what the metaverse may be (did you hear that the metaverse is not actually a place, but a time?, or was it the other way around? ), as well as the potential implications it could have at every level of our lives.
From personal and professional, to individual and society levels, our increasing use of online tools makes up for platforms to innovate on a daily basis. And innovations are never-ending; there is always something new, something more, something ‘better’. The fact is, we are using social media to engage, feel we belong, and stay informed of what’s happening around us. The question; are we actually finding the deep connections we need, and real communities we can intimately interact with? And, moreover, what part of it is actually ‘true’?
Concepts such as virtual empathy, or digital dining, show how innovations in virtual reality (VR) are taking over many traditional marketing strategies. Claiming to be here to enhance the user’s experience, clarity on the wider and ethical implications of these must be provided in order to win over an increasingly demanding audience. Users are demanding more transparency and authenticity from social platforms, spearheading movements in favor of more ‘rawness’ in the content they consume and how they can relate to it.
Whatever you’ve been doing this year, the changes in the world are bound to have conjured some questions.
Maybe reading this Boom Dossier’s 2022 post-summer edition will give you some answers (or at least some thought-starters and intriguing conversation topics) to any thing that may have sparked your interest or occupied your mind whilst (hopefully) enjoying this read. (Or maybe, something else is has just the podium at this very moment, and everything just said is already irrelevant)
All right.. Let us end on a slightly more positive note: we’ve accepted change as part of our way of life, and that can only bring us more resilience. For the rest: let’s keep it up, speak up for the better, and stick together for whatever comes next. What else, right?
Teresa Santos & Sophia Nussey,
on behalf of the Research Team (Alexandra Vogel, Jody simone & Fani Peeva)