While other organisations can learn from this Brandstanding approach to marketing, the film’s sentiment also echoes one of the emerging mindsets we’ve seen gain traction over the last year: the rise of anti-travelling. With consumers increasingly concerned about their carbon emissions, 2019 was the year that the flygskam (flying shame) movement drove early adopter travellers to snub far-flung destinations in favour of guilt-free staycations. In fact, 62% of UK consumers took one or more staycations last year, compared to 50% who holidayed abroad (source: YouGov).
The pandemic is also fast-tracking a greater examination of why we travel at all. Consumers are aware of the positive impacts of Covid-19 on the climate, having witnessed China’s lesser-polluted cities, wildlife wandering into Welsh villages and seabirds returning to Venice’s cleaner canals. They will be cautious to undo such groundbreaking environmental benefits. Rather than being seduced by the draw of budget flights, many will have had the time and space to contemplate their unethical travel behaviour.
After all, mass accessibility has arguably transformed travel from an annual summer holiday into a year-round lifestyle, which has gradually chipped away its meaning. To put this in perspective, in 2018 the number of flights per year rose by 280m globally (source: Airbus).
No one knows when this period of isolation will end. But when we come through it, let’s hope that humankind will nurture a greater appreciation of the travel experience, stripping back their holidays to basic, slower, more meaningful, purposeful trips that empower the local economy. For brands, the Covid-19 pandemic will become a game of survival of the fittest, requiring businesses to react, adapt and use this period of liminality to reconsider their part in people's lives.
Our Covid-19 Report examines and analyses the pandemic's cross-sector impact and outlines key opportunities for brands and businesses in the year ahead.
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