Campaign's most-read experience opinion pieces of 2021

The return to IRL, making virtual exclusive and generating happiness: the five most popular Campaign opinion pieces from the past 12 months.

Left to right: SOS: How can brands help save our summer?, Live at Worthy Farms technical nightmare shouldn't discredit this ambitious event and Brands can't tell people how to be happy, but they can create happiness
Left to right: SOS: How can brands help save our summer?, Live at Worthy Farms technical nightmare shouldn't discredit this ambitious event and Brands can't tell people how to be happy, but they can create happiness

1. When events return some things are better left behind

After the darkness of 2020, it became apparent that the experience industry was adapting because it had to – and there was some crap that was going to get left behind. They key to success was pinpointed as focusing on community, partnerships and being open to evolution.

2. The scale of virtual events is exciting – here's how they can create exclusivity too

During 2021 the appetite for virtual events and experiences continued. While virtual events are not constrained by physical capacity limits, the vast audience can lead to an less exclusive feel. But the use of blockchain and NFTs can unlock a new layer of exclusivity and generate high value around virtual experiences and digital memorabilia.

3. Brands can't tell people how to be happy, but they can create happiness

In the aftermath of global seismic events, behaviours can be expected to evolve. The impact of an event as unifying and horrific as 9/11 shaped culture and how it was consumed for years to come and could be seen as a foretaste of what culture might offer in a post-pandemic world. According to Variety, Hollywood had woken up to the fact that post-pandemic audiences are craving feel-good stories. Looking at this trend through the lens of brand experience and storytelling, the foreseeable future needs to bring elements of optimism, escapism and joy to audiences.

4. Live at Worthy Farms technical nightmare shouldn't discredit this ambitious event

Live at Worthy Farm featured classic Glastonbury performances from the likes of Coldplay, Haim and Michael Kiwanuka but some reviews described the overall experience as "exhausting at the same time". It highlighted the challenges that come with live streams while highlighting how compelling virtual music performances can be when creativity and artistry work together seamlessly.

Photo: Ki Price/Getty Images

5. SOS: How can brands help save our summer?

With summer shrouded in uncertainty, there was room for brands to do their bit to help save the day. From boutique experience to outdoor entertainment, there were clever opportunities for brands to stay culturally active.

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