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Marketing strategy 2024: Metamodernism for brands

Metamodernism for brands (title)
WGSN original image
Feb 19, 2024

In times of polycrisis, consumers face many challenges that take a toll on their emotions. From the economy to the environment to social issues, there’s a lot going on. With the rising uncertainty experienced mainly by young people, we have observed an increase in the search for small moments of joy and romanticisation as marketing strategy focus. This trend has given rise to a new concept: Metamodernism 2024, which will significantly impact how brands communicate with their customers.

So, what are the challenges and opportunities of this new strategy? Read on to discover how brands can create a greater connection with their consumers, positioning themselves as an escape for moments of joy and enchantment in everyday life.

Happy woman in flower field
Pexels / Maksim Goncharenok

What is it?

Described as “a complex worldview about an age of complexity”, metamodernism sits between modernism – known for great self-confidence and an intense belief in universal truths – and postmodernism – known for its irony, sarcasm and belief in many truths.

Metamodernism takes the best of both worlds and tries to find solutions to our current problems. It values honesty and optimism, which can help brands connect with consumers better. 

Finger pointing in the mirror connecting with itself
Fanette Guilloud / Death To Stock

If you want to see metamodernism in practice, check out the movies Everything Everywhere at Once in 2022 and, more recently, Barbie – both strike a chord, experiencing commercial and critical success.

Drivers of metamodernism

Humour has become a response mechanism to the polycrisis; 91% of people worldwide express a preference for brands that are funny and 90% are more likely to remember funny advertisements. What constitutes humour for young digital natives, however, is changing rapidly. Gen Z humour, for example, is defined by chaos, bad taste, memes, and “cringe” humour – specifically those referencing other memes.

Consumers are yearning for joy. However, 45% of people globally have not felt genuine happiness for more than two years, and 25% do not know or have forgotten what it means to feel happy.

Joyful woman
Pexels / Nappy

The viral rise of the sombre #Corecore aesthetic conveys this general mood of bleakness and purposelessness. Now, as an optimistic counterpoint, a new TikTok trend has emerged - the #Hopecore aesthetic; with 2.7 billion TikTok views already, this demonstrates the search for positivity. Almost 90% of consumers actively seek new experiences that make them happy. They are finding joy in the little things and holding onto hope for the future. 

Target audience for metamodernism

Metamodernism has the potential to redefine our current digital culture. This new way of thinking will profoundly influence young people from Generations Z and Alpha, who are digital natives and have profiles that make them particularly receptive to this narrative. 

Marketing strategies for 2024

Pay attention to the content that fuels joy and inspiration, communicate romantic ideals (including spontaneity, genuine emotion, freedom and nature), and microdoses of happiness, demonstrating your brand embraces the metamodern mindset. 

TikTok’s #RomanticiseYourLife hashtag has 1.7 billion views. The videos showcase finding beauty in simple things like a morning cup of tea; an approach brands can adopt, creating products or campaigns focusing on joyful moments. McDonald’s Colombia’s recent “A Second of Happiness” campaign shared photos of real customers receiving orders and positioned their brand as one that brings joy.

McDonald's package

Remember, humour is key. Campaigns that playfully use humour and social awareness have a better chance of engaging customers. Also, it’s worth noting that 90% of consumers trust brands that admit their mistakes. Campaigns using metamodern storytelling techniques like parodies, absurdity, and self-referential messages are rising in popularity. These campaigns define the humour of the digital age and will make a great impact.

To learn more about the marketing insights and strategies offered by the WGSN platform, schedule a demo with our commercial team through this link and start optimising your results.

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