Although mask mandates are being lifted, brands must continue to adapt to permanently changed consumer brands from the coronavirus, such as a new focus on mental health.
That was among the takeaways at this week’s Ad Age Next: Health plus Wellness, which brought together executives in the health and wellness sector to discuss how their brands have changed in recent months. Topics included how marketers are working in order to turn exercise fads into long-term practices, evolving mental health plus consumer sexual well-being styles, and how to interact with and build community among customers.
Below, four themes through Tuesday’s virtual event:
Mental health is taking center stage
Interest within mental health is rising, in part by how COVID affected people emotionally. This includes how employers are seeking to address what many have identified as “The Great Resignation. ” Online therapy company Talkspace recently partnered with Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants to provide the brand’s employees plus guests along with a number of online mental wellness sessions for free.
Brands that don’t typically focus on mental health have also recognized it as integral to their goals. Cindy Gustafson, chief marketing officer of WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers), spoke about the increasing recognition that a weight loss journey is not just about what individuals put in their mouths. She framed weight loss instead as a “holistic wellness program” that puts “the importance of psychological health” front and center. At-home rowing machine company Hydrow’s Chief Commercial Officer Gretchen Saegh-Fleming emphasized the mental, as well as the physical, benefits of the particular rowing workout, which the company has dubbed “the hydrow high” in its advertising .
Sexual product manufacturer Satisfyer is reframing sex toys and masturbation because integral to wellness, rather than a separate activity. As a result, it’s positioning itself as the lifestyle brand, and “even shy[ing] away from calling them sex toys because they aren’t just for fun, ” said Stephanie Trachtenberg, the particular brand’s director of marketing and PR for the Americas.
Closing the knowledge gap
When it comes to tampons, “the understanding gap will be astounding, ” stemming from the lack associated with conversations plus stigma around sex and the body, said Melissa Suk, Procter & Gamble VP of North America Tampax plus Always. Tampax created a commercial with Amy Schumer that will also serves as an educational resource around which usually tampon to use, and when.
Consumer education involves changing the broader conversation and overcoming censorship. Content involving women’s technology and sex health are usually often automatically blocked simply by algorithms when it comes to online marketing, which affects brands including Elvie plus Satisfyer, said their advertising leaders. Elvie recently launched an out-of-home campaign with giant inflatable breasts in order to normalize breastfeeding, said Aoife Nally, Elvie’s CMO.
Relatability and levity is key
Transparency and showing people “behind the scenes” was key to Pfizer’s marketing campaign, stated Ed Harnaga, the brand’s SVP and head associated with external communications and enterprise reputation. But Pfizer furthermore focused on injecting its campaigns with a “quirkiness” that was inspired by exactly how people reacted to Pfizer on social media—including the so-called vaccine rivalries between Team Pfizer and other shot manufacturers that played out on TikTok.
Similarly, Hydrow had to address the particular intimidating image of rowing that is usually associated with Ivy League schools, whereas Peloton feels more approachable, mentioned Ryan McDaid, group strategy director at Hydrow’s agency Mojo Supermarket. “We had to make this brand feel playful plus approachable. ”
After surveying consumers on what it means for them, the brand came to the concept of the “Hydrow high”—feeling like a clearer, better version of yourself. “It’s almost as if our local community has taken it and run along with it, plus given this more life, ” said Saegh-Fleming. The brand’s work with comedian Kevin Hart, who joined the team as Hydrow’s creative movie director in 2020, also helps bring “realness” to the brand name, said Saegh-Fleming because the actor is not the particular typical tall overwhelmingly buff athlete. The particular approach is meant to position rowing as a habit-forming endeavor, stated Saegh-Fleming. “If you keep people engaged and having fun while working out, they’re going to continue with the habit, ” she mentioned.
On the internet connections are still important, despite the return in order to real-life
Brands are still relying on online communities to get a feel for their own consumers: Saegh-Fleming noted that will Hydrow’s users are able to connect online, and WW’s Gustafson said that the particular platform’s on the internet community within the app allows the brand to understand how its consumers are feeling and thinking.
When it comes to psychological health, Talkspace also includes a texting feature that aims to appeal in order to younger generations, as well as to help people who might need immediate assist outside business hours. While still using traditional media, The 3rd Eye, a creative company that focuses on health and wellness, has established a presence on YouTube with videos regarding loneliness while well like Facebook exercise classes. This particular helps reach members of the boomer generation who possess found themselves increasingly on these platforms, said the agency’s Chief Vision Officer and CEO Diana Brooks, partly with regard to DIY help when outside companies couldn’t come to their particular homes during COVID since well seeing that to help with loneliness. “We really saw an explosion” in the particular use of these platforms, said Brooks.
To increase engagement, Spotify has also partnered along with food brands such as Barilla pasta to create playlists that last the length of time it takes to cook nudeln. This stemmed from understanding how the pandemic widened the meaning of “wellness” to extend beyond fitness and in to other areas such as mindfulness, said Spotify’s Director associated with Client Partnerships for CPG and Spirits Bryan Rotunno.