Active engagement in the metaverse and on digital platforms has outpaced passive consumption as consumers crave mindful and cheerier content for viewing. Brands are now adjusting their ads with uplifting and heartwarming moments, inviting audiences to join them in joy and jubilation.

Crowded with dance videos, funny pranks and stunt trends, TikTok is a solid source of joy—and a source of opportunity for brands seeking lighthearted, authentic connections with their audience. According to a study by the Flamingo Group, 73% of TikTok users said they felt happier after logging into the app. Associating those positive emotions with a brand continues to be a top strategy among marketers, as brands hone their marketing into positive spaces and platforms.

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The Lexus ES Self-Charging Hybrid, "Feel Your Best" campaign: Stressed Mode.

Emotional intelligence was at the forefront of a Lexus campaign in October 2021. The ad, promoting the Lexus ES Self-Charging Hybrid, uses facial recognition technology to read and adapt the ad to the consumer’s emotions. The goal of the “Feel Your Best” campaign is to leave viewers feeling more positive after their personalized experience.

Gap’s “All Together Now” 2021 holiday campaign focused on love, kindness, and “modern American optimism”—one of the brand’s core philosophies. The campaign starred Katy Perry and ran to the tune of “All You Need is Love” by the Beatles. Themes of unity, love and joy are consistent with the brand’s optimistic marketing motif.

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The Lexus ES Self-Charging Hybrid, "Feel Your Best" campaign: Puzzled Mode.

Target’s 2021 holiday update of its “What We Value Most Shouldn’t Cost More” campaign featured a rendition of “Best of My Love” by The Emotions, performed by the Black Pumas and Sofia Reyes. “This year’s holiday campaign provides an opportunity for Target to connect with all of our guests while helping them discover the joy that’s within reach every day throughout the season,” said chief marketing and digital officer Cara Sylvester.

Why it’s interesting: Consumers constantly search for authentic, uplifting content, and brands are meeting them on positive platforms, aiming to generate joy in their marketing strategies. Themes of optimism and unity are important to consumers, and brands that focus on those communal aspects are generating positive reactions from customers and increasing engagement within their branded communities.

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