As our brands are becoming more personal, they are also becoming our friends. They are becoming more human. In this process, death or the confrontation with change takes a huge part. Just like real people. This means, people mourn about brands as they mourn about other people.
Sad as it might sound, mourning is actually about moving on. Of course we should be sad about the death of someone close, but an unprocessed trauma can become even more painful. On the other hand, brands that show human traits become even more personal – and likeable. This is exactly the opportunity we can seize here.
Goodbye ceremonies for brands
Using the five stages of grief seems harsh, but considering the process in itself, it actually is a campaign storyline too. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance should be positively implemented in advertising, in which a brand or campaign becomes a story in itself. Like your favourite Netflix show, you want to see how the story (the brand) develops. This way, you take storytelling in advertising to a new level of self/brand awareness. Break that fourth wall if you really want to connect to your target audience.
Potential industry applications
Why call it the “End of Season Sale” when you can celebrate your most popular shirts and sweaters by giving them an exclusive/limited availability status, before burying them in second-hand shops.
The release of a new iPhone involves saying goodbye to the old one. The iPhone lifecycle – an Apple Inc. Story is a long-term campaign series involving annual episodes of iPhone introduction campaigns.
Companies merge. Whether it is a matter of fish being eaten by bigger fish or a fusion, it creates an opportunity to say goodbye to the past, and welcome to the future. This doesn’t count for clients, but also employees. Change management is a thing, but why not yet in advertising?