Wunderman Thompson Intelligence today releases ‘The Age of Re-enchantment’, a new report which explores how a tumultuous few years have left global consumers yearning for something more.
Having surveyed more than 3,000 adults across the UK, the US and China, Wunderman Thompson finds that more than three-quarters of people now say they “just want to feel something, to feel alive”. The study also includes interviews with Gen Z-ers from 17 different countries around the world, alongside in-depth expert interviews with thought leaders across a range of fields including psychology, neuroscience, technology, architecture, and design.
People have always enjoyed being transported, but crucially, there is now an appetite for brands to deliver this, with almost two thirds (65%) of respondents saying they want brands to wow them with spectacular advertising. Meanwhile 61% want brands to help them feel intense emotions, and 63% want companies and brands to provide multi-sensory experiences.
The report finds that consumers are craving experiences that deliver feelings of joy, wonder, magic, and awe, with some looking to darker thrills like the uncanny, surreal, and dystopian. Twice as many respondents said they are likely to buy from brands that bring them a sense of joy (49%), or those that surprise and delight them (45%) than from brands that just do what they say they will (26%). More than half of consumers want to live in a world where brands think giving customers goosebumps is an important metric.
Certainly, it seems that brands have an opportunity to help people transcend tough times and jolt them from malaise by celebrating the thrilling, the uplifting, the awe-inspiring and the magical, and can do more to deliver inspiration. Yet, few brands are tapping into this desire, as 7 in 10 cannot remember the last time a brand did anything that excited them. According to Wunderman Thompson’s data, 61% of people say that “companies and brands aren’t doing anything original” with more almost half saying they “feel tired and burned out all the time” and over two thirds agreeing that technology is making us “feel more detached from the real world.”