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Published by Dan Paris

Like many the world over, working from home and adjusting to a life dominated by a new lexicon featuring words like "the new normal" and "unprecedented", has become our new reality.

I had the privilege of speaking at ONE IGNITE, a webinar hosted by the remarkable Erica Kerner at the One Championship, along with a really inspired panel - Joanne Warnes from Octagon, Michael Patent from Culture Group and Aaron Pearce from Virtue by Vice - to discuss how the world of marketing has been disrupted and what the near future might look like as culture and society begins its shift. 

To me, creativity has always been a reflection of culture and what was clear from the discussion is that while many companies hope the early signs of recovery currently emerging will lead to a revival, I think many of us will now have to accept that the reset button has just been pressed.


At TBWA we continually monitor and observe cultural triggers via our global Backslash team and have started to witness some systemic cultural shifts begin across Asia. It's worth pausing for a moment to reflect on what these shifts might mean for brands and marketers. 


There are three that immediately standout and I wanted to share: 

1) Homes as HQ

We have partied, home schooled, video-conferenced, exercised, YouTubed and baked bread. All within two hours. The future of our home and the relationship we have with it has been radically reset over these last three months. Smart brands are already recognising this shift and some of the work we have delivered for IKEA and Hennessy recently are testament to that point. Creativity in streaming services have exploded and it may well be that E-sports will be the biggest sport in the world as social distancing forces stadiums and large events to remain behind closed doors for some time to come.

2) Local Pride


With the tourism and airline industries shut down, we are witnessing a remarkable domestic revival not just in tourism appetite but also in seeing your own country through new eyes. Again we have seen our clients eager to pivot and explore new territory with amazing recent campaigns like "Try This At Home" from Singapore Tourism Board and "SATV" from South Australia Tourism Commission both connecting with a new sentiment - part nostalgia and part a new found sense of patriotism. We see this movement having significant impact.

2) State of Consumption


This pandemic has been the ultimate shock for many people when it comes to health and wellness with many markets reporting huge interest in bicycles, running and on line yoga classes. In Singapore, Deliveroo recently reported a 53% increase in orders for Impossible Meat products which is just remarkable. Would this growth have happened without the catalyst of a pandemic? Maybe not.


2020 will be the year the world was disrupted. A year we will never forget and a year that will mark the beginning of a new era in marketing and creative thinking. As the recovery starts unfolding, we will see greater consumer tensions as people navigate between old and new behaviours. Our role as marketers will be to understand those tensions, connect with the shifts and put in place the next generation of creative thinking.

For more information on culture during the pandemic, see our Disruption service, providing knowledge on how brands can best respond, recover, and revive from this unprecedented crisis. 

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