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Will the need for human interaction disappear?

You would be quite right in assuming that I have finally lost my remaining marbles by sharing an article on people celebrating togetherness when we have just been downgraded to a level 4 lockdown.

There are several reasons for my madness, one of which is the need to sprinkle some positive dust in a gloomy world. Another is to assist those who plan to advertise with some ideas from a leading player in the advertising and marketing world, Wunderman Thompson.

The article titled Advertising togetherness discusses what is happening elsewhere in the world where restrictions are being lifted. What are leading brands focussing on in attracting attention to their products?

Reunion and reconnection are the themes for the upcoming months, and brands are toasting to optimism and human interaction.

The societal demand for physical reconnection this summer is pulsing through communities around the globe. Getting together to celebrate outside of our overused Zoom screens has ignited an optimistic foretelling of truly post-pandemic life. From outdoor reunions to intimate dinners, brand campaigns are tapping into a hunger for togetherness in the midst of normalcy.

After one year of chaotic isolation and separation, the Harris Poll uncovered that 75% of Americans miss seeing friends and family, and 67% miss in person celebrations, such as graduations or birthdays. Of those polled, another 50% of people missed hugging friends and family, 50% miss having in-person conversations, and 42% feel a lack of connection with others.

Physical touch can directly affect health in many ways. A study conducted by the Journals of Gerontology concluded that “more frequent physical touch is significantly related to a lower likelihood of subsequent elevated inflammation.”

In fact, humans communicate through physical touch more intuitively than we might realize. The Touch Test reported by the BBC concluded that “a stranger could correctly identify the emotions the person was trying to communicate up to 83% of the time, with emotions ranging from anger, fear and disgust to love, gratitude, and sympathy.” And, in an additional observational study, “60% of people touch each other physically, hugging, kissing or shaking hands,” before separating or departing from one another.

For the last year, brands have learned to convey togetherness while respecting the social distancing norms and restrictive guidelines their audiences were experiencing around the world. This visual language of connectivity has been an important theme used by brands to convey “connection, support and wellbeing,” according to Adobe Stock’s Brenda Mills. Now, brands can embrace the physical reunions that their consumers are craving. By evoking a strong sense of togetherness, brands are optimistically reconnecting their ads with the potential of a summer of human connection.

Whilst indications are that digital connectivity will rule the roost in the future, it may very well be that the need for physical contact will make a strong comeback as the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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