Eyes Straight Ahead
I’d originally planned for today’s post to be lighter fare, focused on the “better” performing ads of the past year. I’ll still write that post, as it’s a subject that I’ve had many a conversation around with colleagues and I myself have some firsthand insights into.
Instead today, one last reflection into the current state of how many are feeling. I am certain that we’re all quite ready to move past the uncertainty and state of being that we’ve all been subjected to in the past year. While we may have made the most of it, it is also fair to say that the 2020 and 2021 lifestyle was not at all what any of us envisioned. As I previously stated, in many past write-ups, for me personally I actually did enjoy some of the changes that I was forced into in the past year--less running from in-person meeting to in-person meeting, driving across town in traffic, a full slate of events, etc. Yet, even with those “perks”, I too am ready for the world to open back up again and for those who have been severely impacted economically to once again have stability.
Yet, while much closer, we’re still a ways away from some of this. 2021 will continue to be one foot in this current normal that we find ourselves in and the other foot in the new version that will include us easing ourselves back into once again being out in public interacting with others for longer than just necessary amounts.
While some people might be vaccinated and ready for a “hot girl” or “hot boy” summer paired up already or not, others are more hesitant. I don’t blame them as death toll percentages are still concerning. I’m somewhere in between. In one of the professional groups of which I serve on a Board of Advisors of, I recently got asked how I felt about in-person events and all I could do was hold up my hand and motion a so-so gesture some of my other colleagues who oversee divisions for Mastercard, beauty brands, and other entertainment brands all echoed my sentiments.
We all realize that as a collective, we are still a ways away from being ready to go back to everything that a 100% “open for business” world would look like. I myself am for sure nowhere near ready to partake in any Coachella-like music festival (to be fair I haven’t been into large music festivals for quite some time now), conferences, or even some of the standard events typical of our industry--mask or no mask. I’m still deciding on what to respond to as for all of the summer events where invitations are starting to flow in. Music festivals will likely make a return this fall and I anticipate that they'll all sell out quite quickly.
Friends keep asking when I will return to Los Angeles to stay for a longer period of time and I just keep responding, “maybe around August.” It will take the various industries some time to recover and being set back a full year of steady revenue will not allow some to bounce back without some heavy lifting. We’ll likely see more mergers and “collaborations”.
Then there’s the business of inoculation, not everyone is willing to get the vaccine. Even those who are normally progressive in views. Conspiracy theories and personal hesitance will keep some from joining the rest of us who have or will willingly choose to get the one or two-dose vaccines. Getting a vaccine of course doesn’t 100% guarantee that none of us will contract the virus, but it will help move the world forward, as science has proven.
What there will be, for at least part of the year, is the intermingling of those who have been vaccinated with those who have not with no real way to tell once masks are no longer donned as we won’t be wearing our vaccination cards on our lapels.
Even as we all move forward whether it is going through the motions, doing what’s necessary, or as inspired action we all still take with us everything that the past year has put us through, loss in different forms, but also a reacquainting with ourselves and parts of us that we may have lost touch with in the midst of busy lives. I recently had a former college acquaintance re-establish contact and also confess as part of our catching-up that they’d always had a crush on me and told me another of their friends did as well. I also went through a similar experience not that long ago with someone else that I used to know and with all of those I just laughed them off with them as I’m certain that it had to do more with them and reflecting that they are doing just like so many others are at this time, likely as a result of the past year, than it did with me at this stage of our lives all of these years later. Of course, we’ll still remain friends.
Of course, I enjoy catching up with old friends, but in all honesty I’m a little too busy to spend too much time reflecting on the past. What I will admit though, is that I have enjoyed seeing the growth that some of my friends have experienced and I myself am sure that I’ve also changed in some ways as well--at the very least in setting boundaries and in what I invest time into and what I value.
Yet, I think much of this I already possessed and it is what helped me do as much as I did in the past year. That is what I hope most of you will realize that whatever person you have evolved into was already there, Same thing for brands and companies, integrity and values will play as much of their survival as will innovation and agility. Regardless, a new season is upon us and I think we’re all at the very least ready for that.