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Awes, thrills, fear trump traditional measures to emerge new brand metrics

Jaw drops, heart swells, and goosebumps are the new brand metrics as customers now demand a re-enchanting spark and revolution in the realm of advertising and marketing, and the transformation of emotions into experiences.

“As the charts now show, customers no longer  want to see brands crafting simply ‘intelligent’ stuff or just another remarkable ad that is gunning for awards,” said Business Analyst Helen Akue.

“Ever since the pandemic, I think people have been having this ‘bored, what do I stand for’ kind of feeling. And customers are beginning to demand more thrilling and heart racing content that will make them feel more alive,” she added. 

This call for ‘re-enchantment’ comes at a crucial juncture. In the wake of pandemic-induced isolation, burnout from relentless grind culture, and the somber backdrop of contemporary challenges like politics, war, and climate crisis, a collective yearning for something more profound is palpable. 

According to a research by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, a comprehensive report that delves into 18 original trends supported by exclusive survey data and insights from 20 industry thought leaders, over 75% of individuals express a desire to “feel alive,” and 74% believe that something good is on the horizon.

Particularly in an era where traditional metrics have begun to fall short, a profound shift is underway, beckoning brands to redefine their strategies as the world is now poised for ‘re-enchantment’, and the measure of success transcending conventional standards. 

Meanwhile, contrary to conventional wisdom, people are not seeking mere practicality in these uncertain times. 

They crave emotion-inducing experiences that evoke joy, wonder, and a sense of the extraordinary. The appetite for the spectacular, surreal, and otherworldly is also insatiable. Some people are even beginning to find solace in the darker shades of experience, embracing the fear-inducing, uncanny, and dystopian. 

According to Data Intelo, the global horror film and TV show market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5% from 2022 to 2030. This remarkable growth can be attributed to increasing demand for horror content from viewers around the world.

The seeds of this movement also sprouted in this year’s “Future 100” report, which identified a growing desire for adventure in Remote Dining, a hunger for amazement in Multiversal Design, and the flourishing joyconomy in Ageless Play as shared by Wunderman Thompson.

Although the desire to be transported has existed for ages, now, there’s a demand for brands to deliver on this aspiration. An astonishing 65% of individuals wish to be wowed by spectacular advertising, and 61% long for brands that help them experience intense emotions.

Intriguingly, nearly double the number of people indicate their likelihood to buy from brands that bring them joy (49%) or offer surprise and delight (45%), compared to brands that merely fulfill promises (26%). Astonishingly, however, a staggering 70% of respondents cannot recall a recent instance when a brand excited them.

This emerging landscape of re-enchantment can be decoded through three essential needs: a search for awakening and understanding in a chaotic world, a craving to transcend the ordinary and be part of something larger, and an optimistic yearning to shape a brighter future. These trends converge at their core, fostering both personal and collective betterment.

In this landscape where feelings now outweigh facts, brands are presented with an unparalleled opportunity to tap into the pulse of human emotion and become catalysts for transformative experiences. 

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