Fun and play

This sub-trend grows in significance as consumers look for ways to incorporate light relief into their daily lives, embracing experiences and brands that provide accessible moments of fun and facilitate playfulness

How is this sub-trend evolving?

How it was

Appreciation of brands that incorporate a playful dimension into products, packaging or communications

How it is

Increased interest in brands and experiences that put playfulness front and centre

How it will be

Brands facilitating moments of fun, play, and release at every touch-point with the brand

In-market examples from around the world

What: The installation in LA completely immersed consumers in both the product and their own childhood. The ad campaign had three parts: a launch video that takes people on a journey through their childhood, a warehouse pop-up where everything is so oversized people feel like they’re small children again, and a Twitter-based competition where people could win Oreos.
Why: In a world that is increasingly complex, stressful, and volatile a little fun and play goes a long way. In this campaign Oreo are capturing a universal adult wish – to be a carefree child again – and enabling them to actualise it albeit briefly.
What: California Donuts’ latest service adds a sprinkle of fun to its offering by allowing its consumers to design their dessert. If donuts weren’t fun enough already, this interactive service lets its fans order personalized donuts, with options ranging from bacon-infused donut cakes to letter and number shapes.
Why: This type of bespoke retail, now prevalent in food markets, is an example of how companies are profiting from the fun and novelty of personalisation. In creating a fun experience and allowing consumers to design their own product, California Donuts connects with the people and breaks down the divide between producer and consumer.
What: Zauo is experiential dining at its finest. Customers catch their fish from one of the restaurant’s large tanks before handing it over to the cooks for their dinner. The concept is fun, attracting families, friends and couples to try their hand at fishing for their meal.
Why: The catch-and-eat concept engages consumers and combines a fresh meal with a fun immersive activity.
What: In Singapore Coca Cola launched a regular 330ml Coke can that comes apart to form two smaller cans that can be shared with friends.
Why: It isn’t just large scale, uber-style sharing that’s in; Coke recognised the simple pleasure and novelty that could come with a mini sharing moment like this.
What: Happy Lemon bubble tea is a chain rapidly expanding across Asia, offering consumers a four step creation station for a novel refreshment experience.
Why: Happy Lemon has built on the Eastern bubble tea craze, using fresh and fun flavour combinations and branding to attract the younger generations of Asian consumers. Their four-step drink creation station makes the process of ‘grabbing a drink’ novel and playful.
What: During the 2015 Superbowl broadcast on 1 February, brands dominated Twitter with playful commentary and brand-on-brand jokes.
Why: Social media is enabling brands to show their human side and use humour and wit to forge more personal relationships with consumers.
What: Biscuit maker McVities has created a cuddle café in central London. The café was designed with ‘wall-to-wall cuteness’, with free drinks and treats offered in return for cuddles.
Why: This café aims to maximise visitors’ happiness levels, following research about the emotional and health benefits of a cuddle. Plus, associations with free perks and quirkiness builds greater brand equity
What: Dominos host a comedy vine series on their website, inviting UK viewers to follow two average pizza-loving guys ‘Huw’ and ‘Leslie’ in their thwarted attempts to eat pizza.
Why: Over the last five years Domino’s has embraced all things digital to drive its marketing activity, putting humour and frivolity at the heart of its digital communications.