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Advertising the Cure for Loneliness

Bridget Johnston February 22, 2021

You can’t buy the cure for loneliness, so advertising it feels counterintuitive. 

Nevertheless, it’s what every agency and brand is trying to do right now. Cracking the code to addressing consumer isolation this winter is at the top of every advertiser’s priority list. Sometimes communicating with our audiences can feel formulaic, and sometimes it can feel aloof. 

Ultimately, connecting with consumers through crisis after crisis can’t– and shouldn’t– be boiled down to metrics. 

The best thing marketers can do is show empathy and create fresh and engaging content to support how people feel in the moment. 

Advertising with empathy. 

When we asked experts in the martech field for their 2021 predictions, many of them expressed that messaging with empathy and understanding is of top importance. Pattern89 Founder & CEO, R. J. Talyor said: 

“Marketing in 2021 is about finding the cure for loneliness.” 

In the same vein, Lindsay Tjepkema, the Co-Founder & CEO of Casted said: 

“The brands that put human connection over algorithms will win.”

The best thing we can do is connect with our audiences through warmth, compassion, humor and supportive voices. People need to see and feel the humanity behind brands.

Tune in to the latest conversation. 

Not only are experts telling us to empathize with consumers, but artificial intelligence is too. 

Nearly a year ago, we began to see art imitate life in digital marketing. While lots of brands pulled the plug on advertising budgets in March, content relevant to that time period started to show up in ads across the web. Face masks, hand washing and working from home all took the center stage in digital marketing creative. 

At the time, nobody knew what was yet to come. And still, machine learning algorithms were able to track this creative response to the pandemic in real time. The most relevant and engaging campaigns were depicting what was happening in our lives at the time. 

Eleven months later, artificial intelligence is telling us the creative decisions to embrace and avoid. 

The latest Creative Forecast report summarizes an A.I.-driven analysis of over 300 billion marketing data points. It tells us what creative messaging will resonate today and tomorrow. 

We know that audiences are engaging with content that shows families, cities, and life returning to normalcy as caseloads decrease and vaccines roll out. We also see that consumers aren’t engaging with content that depicts isolation– reading, texting and studying. Through these findings, A. I. supports what our experts are saying. It discovers how to empathize with people in real time. 

The only way marketing teams can succeed in 2021 is by providing an empathic approach to their messaging. 

Both humans and computers say it’s a must.