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Vaxed & Waxed: Campaign Creative for Summer 2021

Bridget Johnston April 20, 2021

The motto of this upcoming summer seems to be: Vaxed and waxed.

The phrase has been making its way around Twitter, as people discuss easing social distancing, a return to normalcy and grooming. 

Despite the phrase having become somewhat of a meme, is it showing up anywhere else? Are brands and marketing agencies preparing for a vaxed and waxed summer in their creative choices?

Pattern89’s artificial intelligence analyzed 350 billion points of historic digital marketing data to find out. 

Grooming in Summer 2021’s Campaign Creative

Of course, the spring of 2020 was an odd year, in terms of creative trends. Along with seeing a brief halt in marketing spend, we watched images of hand washing, working from home, and face masks surge

With the vaccine’s rollout in the United States, however, our creative marketing conversations are shifting. 

As more and more people get vaccinated, consumers and brands are shifting focus to a very optimistic, and more normal, summer. This is causing an uptick in discussions around personal hygiene, grooming and beauty.

Here’s how covid-focused content is showing up in ad creative today, compared to 2020: 

  • The word “vaccine” has gone up 175% in ad body copy use, 964% in headline copy.
  • The 😷 emoji has gone up 404% in use, since this time last year.
  • The 💉emoji has gone up 164% in popularity since spring of 2020. 

And now for the fun part. Here’s a look at how personal grooming is being reflected in marketing creative, now that the United States is getting vaccinated. 

  • Ads depicting someone shaving have gone up in popularity by 25%.
  • Images of razors have gone up 28% in popularity, compared to Spring of 2020.
  • Use of the 👙 emoji has gone up 700% since this time last year.

Hold Your Horses. We’re Not Back to Normal Yet. 

Despite the excitement, we’re not completely ready to return to normal. Bumpy rollouts, hesitancy to get the vaccine, and global vaccine inequity indicate that we shouldn’t get all too excited about a free-for-all summer. 

In fact, we are continuing to see some social distancing play out in marketing campaigns.

  • Interestingly, depicting images of waxing services have dropped 61% since 2020’s spring.
  • There are 18% fewer ads depicting spas this year. 
  • The word “dating” is used 493% less in copy than it was this time last year.

As with Spring of 2020, art is imitating life. Marketing creative is reflecting the excitement of our times, thanks to advancements in science. And yet, we are still observing a cautious look toward a more normal future.

How is your creative strategy shifting or responding in the midst of this new era of marketing? Try AI for your next creative marketing campaign to find out.