The Familiar is what we need right now.
OK, by now we all know the drill. We are all under the same challenge, the same pressure, the same lock down, that COVID-19 put is in. People are writing about how they are coping. What they’re doing, what they can’t do, what they want to do. They are all expressions of our humanity. We are looking for reassurance in familiarity. Our routine has been disrupted indefinitely, and we are seeking out the familiar.
Interestingly enough if you have been watching ads online or on TV, you may not have noticed how similar the ads are to one another. They are virtually the same ad with slight variations. Some marketers have chided the big brands for not being imaginative enough to break out with something unique and meaningful. I beg to differ. They are doing exactly what they are supposed to do. The messages you see and hear in these branding ads are those of reassurance, inspiration, and perseverance. They speak to the emotions that we are experiencing – loss, worry, loneliness, and uncertainty.
During World War II, it was a “We can do it” message. Humans, as an animal, like novelty only up to a certain point and that is on a good day. When the tribe is stressed and the horizon looks bleak, it is reassurance from those on high that help us get through it. We seek the familiar. It calms, it is recognizable, and it gets us through one more day.
I love music and I am always amazed at how many great songs there are that are created with the same three chords (E, A & D). We say we want to hear something new but it is only so true. We want to hear the same, but the same a little differently.
That is what these big brands have done in their storytelling. They are communicating the needed message for our time. The reassurance that we are inevitably not getting from our elected leaders, but that we need to keep up the flame of our animus glowing.
We will get through this time together. We need to take a moment and realize that we are not alone in this. That by not being alone, we have a responsibility to each other. We need to subsume some of our own individuality for the greater good. In this case it’s staying home, wearing a mask, and washing your hands. You know what to do.
It isn’t political as much as it is scientific. Until there is a vaccine, COVID and all the other closely related members of the coronaviruses will be with us. We can only get through this together and keeping some part of the familiar is a powerful tool in getting there, and we will get there.
Let us know what you think. Tell us your story we would love to know.