16 Aug 2017

Brand Comfort

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Some might call me an opportunist for thinking of our current state of affairs in this way, but I prefer to think of it as an acknowledgement of a deep-seated need among consumers right now: A need for comfort.

It doesn’t take much to notice that folks are a little bit on edge these days. Each news cycle brings more uncertainty, more despair – and in some cases, more fear. It’s not clear where people are going for comfort, or, if they’re going there, whether they’ve received any.

It struck me over the last week or so that, for the most part, the advertising environment hasn’t really responded to what may be a prolonged feeling of anxiety among consumers. The tone of most ads continues to be pretty chipper, mostly oblivious to the uncertainty hanging over us like a bad fog.

I suppose some of these campaigns were created some time ago, though one has to wonder when the general populace could have been described as ‘carefree.’ And maybe a little humor is good. Maybe we need the cute puns tossed around by Flo and the gecko. Maybe we still need to escape into mindless beer commercials.

But I wonder if some brands have the opportunity to provide comfort. Especially now. Especially brands who fit (credibly) into the comfort space.

I’ll bet there’ll be a return to ‘comfort.’ A return to brands we’ve always counted on to be what they say they are, to do what they say they’ll do. To brands we experienced in our childhood, or those we’ve grown up with. To brands we trust, and who reinforce that trust every day. To brands that don’t try to get all aggressive on us, or invade our space, or don’t take us seriously.

I’m going to bet there’s a great opportunity for brands to provide comfort. And that this message will be noticed and gratefully received. Especially now.